A “disgraceful” businessman who was disqualified from being a director has been jailed for more than two years for safety breaches and fraud after a foundry worker was crushed to death beneath a two-tonne metal sand-moulding box.

Paul O’Boyle, 56, was only a third of the way through his disqualification when 40-year-old Ian Middlemiss of Southampton was killed when the heavy equipment fell from a crane at Aztech BA’s Alton plant. Colleagues scrambled to free him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

The now-insolvent company was fined £100,000 after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. O’Boyle’s colleague, Russell Lee, 67, was given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay £8,000 in prosecutions costs for aiding and abetting O’Boyle in his disqualification. The court was told he was registered with Companies House as director of the business.


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