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Chartham mum Carolyn Hoare waits for 'justice' after son's workplace death at Watling Tyres as Health and Safety Executive probe continues

By Gerry Warren

A woman whose son was killed by an exploding tyre says she is still waiting for "justice" eight and a half years after his death.

Carolyn Hoare has yet to learn if Watling Tyres will be prosecuted over the death of 21-year-old Matthew Hoare in January 2006.

The fitter was killed when a tractor tyre he was repairing exploded in his face.

Chartham woman Carolyn Hoare with her son Matthew, who died when a tractor tyre he was repairing exploded in his face

An inquest last year ruled his death was accidental, but the Health and Safety Executive has yet to decide whether to bring a case against Watling Tyres.

That is despite evidence of failings in training and equipment emerging at the inquest, which the HSE said afterwards it needed to consider.

And now the HSE's principal inspector for the south division, Mike Walters, admitted a decision was still "not imminent".

Carolyn, 54, of Shalmsford Street, Chartham, said: "It just seems to go on and on for us.

"I don't understand why it is taking so long. If anything, the evidence we heard at the inquest strengthened the case against the company.

"We were very disappointed the jury were not given the opportunity to record an unlawful killing verdict."

Carolyn Hoare is still seeking justice over her son Matthew's death

During the five-day hearing, the jury heard Matthew, who had worked for Watling Tyres in Canterbury for just six months, had no record of formal training as required.

He went to the Hammill Brickworks near Sandwich in a van that contained a compressor with a broken valve.

Matthew had no way of knowing how much air he was pumping into the tyre, which only needed 40 pounds per square inch.

Both Watling Tyres director Andrew Wright and branch manager Des Smith declined to answer questions during the inquest about the incident.

Health and Safety Executive principal inspector Mike Walters

Carolyn said: "Matthew would have been 30 on April 15, and I look at his friends now who are settling down and having children and just imagine what he would have been doing.

"It just rubs salt into the wound. It's very frustrating and disheartening to be left like this, but the HSE just can't give me a straight answer.

"I will never be able to put this behind me until I see justice for Matthew."

Mr Walters could not explain the long delay, but said the case was still "actively under consideration".

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