Home' Greymouth Star : September 15th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Tuesday, September 15, 2015
The parents of a young forestry worker
killed when a tree fell on him are calling
for an overhaul in the way workplace
incidents are investigated.
Lincoln Kidd, 20, died in December
2013 on a Horowhenua forestry block.
He was crushed by a tree felled by his
boss, Paul Burr, 47.
In a groundbreaking move, Mr Burr
was charged with manslaughter over
death, the first time such a case was
brought over a workplace death.
After hearing three weeks of evidence
in the High Court at Palmerston
North, a jury took little over two hours
yesterday to acquit Mr Burr on that
charge and one of breaching health and
The latter charge was laid by Work
Safe New Zealand and the more serious
charge followed months later, when
police became involved.
Mr Kidd’s parents, Lesley and Craig,
do not want to see this happen again
and said police should be investigating
workplace deaths immediately, alongside
“ I think what I’d like to see is some
changes, not just for forestry,” Mrs Kidd
said last night.
Speaking at their Levin home, she
and her husband said not having police
involved felt like such deaths were
They would also like safety investigators
to receive more training in forensics and
other techniques used by police, while
the forestry industry needed to look at
why so many people had died in recent
That will not help the Kidds, however.
“ It doesn’t matter what happened
today. The outcome for us is the same.
It doesn’t matter where we go from here,
Lincoln’s not coming home and that ’s
what we have to live with,” Mrs Kidd
The lifting of a suppression order
means a previous, less serious, health
and safety charge both Burr and his now
defunct company admitted can now be
reported. Sentencing on these is next
The Kidds said they would have liked
the jury to have known this, and Mrs
Kidd would like Mr Burr’s punishment
to set a precedent for other matters,
although she felt the charge did not
reflect the loss of a life.
“ He’s pleaded guilty to causing harm.
There’s a huge difference between
causing harm and causing a death,” she
said of Burr.
“ Who’s responsible for Lincoln’s
death? It wasn’t the machine, it was
the operator. He didn’t just cause harm,
he took someone’s life. It’s a huge
Lincoln had worked in forestry for four
years and harboured a passion for the
industry for even longer.
One image in a photo album the family
had made shows Lincoln as a toddler
with a wooden toy chainsaw.
Others show him out hunting, working
and with friends and family, who Mr
Kidd thanked for their support.
The Kidds said they wanted Lincoln
remembered as the person he was — the
hard worker, loving partner and family
member — rather than just another
Lincoln was killed by a tree that Mr
Burr felled using machinery. He was just
7m away when the fatal tree came down
at an unexpected angle, but Mr Burr did
not know where he was.
Former Shortland Street and Spartacus
actor Manu Bennett has been arrested
and charged with assault in Texas.
He is now facing a year in a United
States county jail.
According to Twitter, Bennett was in
San Antonio for the Alamo Comic Con,
a convention for comic book enthusiasts,
at the weekend.
Court records show that he was
arrested at 6am on Sunday following an
Few details were available, but arrest
records filed in the Bexar County
Magistrate’s Office stated the 45-year-
old actor was charged with assault
causing bodily injury and was being held
on a $US1600 ($2527) bond.
It has not yet been released with whom
or where the assault took place.
Bennett was released later on Sunday.
Court documents show he appeared
in front of a magistrate at 10.10am
San Antonio time. He was released at
12.55pm and court records say he left
Bennett also appeared in the Hobbit
movies and the television series Arrow.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
The save of a lifetime, says fire chief
Stopping Tuatapere’s only
grocery store from going up in
flames was “the save of a lifetime”,
the local fire chief says.
“She was all go — flames
everywhere,” Tuatapere Volunteer
Fire Brigade chief fire officer
Brendon Diack said of the scene
that greeted firefighters when
they arrived at two burning
buildings on Tuatapere’s main
street late on Sunday.
“It was hot down there, I can
tell you that. The boys worked
well together — it was a great
team effort. ” The crew, and three
others from Otautau, Orepuki
and Invercargill, arrived at
10.20pm and spent five hours
conquering the fire in the more-
than 100-year-old neighbouring
The fire was difficult to
extinguish due to the materials
stored inside, including bus seats
and tyres, Mr Diack said.
Only the teamwork of the four
crews saved the neighbouring
Four Square — the only grocery
store in the town of about 600.
Scorch marks were yesterday
visible on the grocery store, which
was only 3m away from the blaze.
The fire in the engineering
shop and former school bus
headquarters — now used for
storage — was put out relatively
quickly but firefighters remained
until 3.30am yesterday, “mopping
up” the smouldering remains, he
Yesterday, fire risk management
officer Mike Cahill, of
Invercargill, said the fire was
being treated as suspicious.
Once scene examinations were
completed, local contractor
Stephen Crack was called in to
demolish the former bus depot
while firefighters dampened down
— Otago Daily Times
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Tuatapere Volunteer Fire Brigade deputy chief fire officer Graeme
Egerton dampens down hot spots at the scene of a suspicious fire in
the town’s main street on Sunday evening.
NZ actor arrested for Texas assault
Couple died together in bath
A retired Auckland couple who
were sharing a bath both died
when a man had a heart attack
and dragged down his wife, who
The coroner’s findings have shed
light on how Louis Ng and his wife
Chiu died in 2013.
On the night of October 16 that
year, family members found the
bodies of Mr Ng, 78, and his wife
81, in their motel room.
The couple died at the Deco City
Motor Lodge in Napier, where they
were on holiday.
The couple were retired market
gardeners who lived in Auckland.
Mr Ng had a history of ischaemic
heart disease, hypertension, peptic
ulcer and other maladies.
A post-mortem examination
found Mr Ng had scarring of the
heart muscle and another condition
that would have impaired blood
flow to his heart.
The coroner’s newly released
findings showed he died suddenly,
collapsing and pinning his wife in
The coroner said Mrs Ng also
suffered from assorted illnesses,
and her “mild dementia” may
have stopped her acting in a co-
ordinated manner when she found
Police were satisfied there were
no suspicious circumstances behind
the couple’s death. — NZ ME
Former lawyer convicted of tax evasion
A former Dunedin lawyer who
did not turn up yesterday for the
start of her five-day trial has been
found guilty on all 46 charges of
tax evasion involving more than
Despite accused Raelene Marie
Kelly, 55, e-mailing a letter of
explanation, claiming a “moderate
to severe anxiety disorder”, Judge
Paul Kellar noted there was no
supporting medical evidence and
went ahead with the trial.
Five days had been set aside,
but the trial was over by mid-
Kelly was formally called to the
stand, but she did not appear,
nor was there any legal counsel
representing her in the court, nor
any evidence submitted on her
In March, when the charges were
laid in the D unedin District Court,
Kelly had denied the charges of
evading paying GST or PAYE.
Kelly was convicted on each
charge and will be sentenced on
October 14. — Otago Daily Times
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