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Tributes paid to employees who died after falling into pig feed tanker as Greenfeeds Ltd is convicted of corporate manslaughter

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Tributes have been paid to two men who had their whole lives ahead of them but were 'snatched away' because of company failures.

Nathan Walker, 19, and Gavin Rawson, 35, died after falling into a tanker containing pig feed at their employer Greenfeeds Ltd in Normanton, Bottesford.

The food waste recycling company has been convicted of corporate manslaughter following the incident on December 2016.

Nathan Walker was looking forward to becoming a father. (57195468)
Nathan Walker was looking forward to becoming a father. (57195468)

Following Tuesday's verdict, the families of Nathan and Gavin have paid tribute.

Nathan's family said Gavin tried to bravely save their son.

"Nathan was only 19 years of age when his life ended through no fault of his own," said his family.

"Nathan was expecting his first child with his partner when he died. His son was born 15 days after his death. Nathan was so excited about becoming a dad. He should have been here to see his son born. He should be here with his son now.

"Nathan was a loving and affectionate man. He was such a family-orientated person and was an amazing big brother. He had a great sense of humour, was playful, didn’t take life seriously and just loved and lived life to the full. He would enjoy messing about on the trampoline or sunbathing in the garden listening to music. He would also take his little sister to the park to play. We had such laughs together.

"He was a good runner and was a member of Grantham Running Club. He was a healthy, young man with his whole life ahead of him.

Gavin Rawson has been described as Mr Chatterbox by his family. (57195465)
Gavin Rawson has been described as Mr Chatterbox by his family. (57195465)

"Nathan’s death was cruel and there was no sense in it. The shock, horror and grief of hearing that our son had been killed will stay with us for the rest of our lives. The pain we feel in our hearts is still completely unbearable. Life will never be the same for us. We wish every day that this had never happened and that he was here right now living his life to the full and loving being a dad, big brother, son and grandson.

"Nathan had only worked for Greenfeeds Ltd for two months. The company had no safety measures in place and that has cost two young men their lives as not only did Nathan die that day but Gavin Rawson also lost his life bravely trying to save our son."

Gavin's family said: "Three days before Christmas 2016, our much loved son, brother and uncle, Gavin was snatched away from us in seconds with no warning, no reason and no explanation.

Mr Walker and Mr Rawson drowned after falling into a road haulage tanker containing semi-liquid pig feed (57194022)
Mr Walker and Mr Rawson drowned after falling into a road haulage tanker containing semi-liquid pig feed (57194022)

"Gavin was a kind, loving and thoughtful person. He was always having fun, making people laugh and was very popular and loved. His character was unique, funny and entertaining. We would call him Mr Chatterbox.

"He would also be often changing his hair style and hair colour and he loved Djing on decks, and went by the name RawG — often playing his music from his log cabin in the garden.

"He loved family events and was great with his nieces and nephews. He will now never be able to have children of his own because his life has been taken away.

"No one should have to hear about their son’s death like we did. If only health and safety guidance had been followed, Gavin would still be here. We just want him back in our lives but know we can’t have him.

"Although it breaks our hearts, we are so proud of Gavin and what he did that day. He did what he always did and went to help someone in need, despite the danger to himself. He was our hero and we will always remember him that way.

"We just wish we could hold him, hug him and tell him he is our hero. It is completely devastating to our entire family that we will never be able to do this."

The company, which was owned and ran by the Leivers family including Ian Leivers and his wife Gillian Leivers, produced bio-fuel and pig feed from recycled products which were then delivered using road haulage tankers.

On the afternoon of December 22, 2016, Mr Walker, who was a member of yard staff at the company, had climbed into a tanker to clean it after it was found the tanker could not be fully emptied of the pig feed.

He got into difficulty and the alarm was raised leading to Mr Rawson, who was also a member of yard staff, climbing into the tanker in an attempt to rescue Mr Walker.

Read the full story here.

Both men were pulled from the tanker after a saw was used to cut holes in the side of the tanker. Emergency services were at the scene and resuscitation was attempted but both men sadly died at the scene.

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