Mother’s anger at investigation delays

(Re-produced with kind permission of the Kent Messenger Newspapers.)

The mother of a young Chartham man killed by an exploding tyre has made a formal complaint after Kent Police admitted there had been another delay in the investigation into his death.

Mathew Hoare, who worked for Watling Tyres in Canterbury, died when a five foot digger tyre he was working on exploded in his face in January, 2006.

On the second anniversary of his death the detective leading the investigation said he would be submitting the file to the Crown Prosecution Service in February.

But Det Sgt Ian Cutter admitted this week that he was still waiting to interview key witnesses to the accident, which happened at Hammill Brickworks, near Sandwich.

“We had hoped to be in a position to submit the file to the CPS in February, but the reason for the delay is out of our control.

“There was a change of representing solicitors just prior to the last planned interviews.

“The new solicitor objected to the planned dates for the interview, claiming there was not enough time to suitably advise his client.”


Det Sgt Cutter said new appointments had been made for the end of March and the beginning of April.

But the delay has angered Mr Hoare’s mother, Carolyn, and she and her solicitor, Nick Fairweather, are making formal complaints to both the Chief Constable of Kent and the Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Mr Fairweather said an incident like this should have been investigated within a matter of months not years.

“After Matthew died the HSE immediately seized the compressor that he was working with and all relevant documentation from Watling Tyres’ offices.

“We are told that it took 21 months to inspect and report on the compressor.

“For their part the police have still not interviewed all the witnesses in the case despite repeated assurances given to the family,” he said.

Mr Fairweather described the situation as wholly unacceptable: “It is agony for the family to be left not knowing what action will be taken over the tragic death of their son.”