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Faulty Lamp Electrocutes Man in UK

Bristol, UK – A doting house husband and former Evening Post employee was electrocuted at his grandmother’s birthday party, an inquest has heard.

Mark Rogers popped down into the dark cellar at his grandmother Eileen’s home in Frenchay to fetch more champagne glasses.

The 32-year-old father-of-one was celebrating with his father and other family members and had just spoken to his partner, who was leaving work to join them.

But moments later he was killed by an electric shock from a faulty lamp in the small, damp cellar under the kitchen in Stanshaw Close.

Assistant deputy coroner David Dooley passed a verdict of accidental death at Avon Coroner’s Court in Flax Bourton yesterday.

Mr Rogers’ partner since school days, Charlotte Hopkins, and father Martin, were among seven family and friends who attended the short hearing.

In Martin Rogers’ statement to the court, read by coroner’s officer Andrew Hamilton, he said he had asked his son Mark to go into the cellar to get some more glasses.

Questioned directly by the coroner he added that the light was poor down there and the family had for years used a lamp which was plugged into a mains socket in the cellar.

In the statement Martin said Mark had initially been unable to find the glasses but went downstairs a second time to look in some boxes.

His father said he heard a strange noise, “a bang on the kitchen floor”, and rushed down to check his son was OK.

He found Mark slumped over a box. When he touched his son he got an electric shock and watched Mark fall back onto the floor, the 3ft lamp across his chest.

Martin, a trained nurse, quickly turned off the plug and began to try and resuscitate his son while his daughter Sam, 34, dialled 999.

Mark was pronounced dead at the scene when paramedics arrived at 6.15pm on September 7 last year.

“I think I knew in my mind that Mark was dead,” said Martin in his statement.

Ambulance and a fire crew ensured the electricity to the house was shut off before removing Mark’s body.

Qualified electrician Bradley Purnell, of Avonlee Electrical Contractors, said in a statement that a visual inspection of the house showed wiring in a poor state and evidence of lots of additions not carried out by qualified tradesmen.

He said the socket in the cellar was “wired incorrectly and undersized” but “was not dangerous” , yet the lamp was “unsatisfactory”.

Summing up, the coroner said the cable was “exposed and dangerous”.

“If (Mr Rogers) strained the connection in any way then this may have caused it to short and as it didn’t have any earth, in effect, he became the earth and received a shock,” he said.

Mr Rogers, of Earlsmead Court in Staple Hill worked as a salesman for the Evening Post and Western Daily Press from 2001 to 2008 and was described by his partner as a “natural parent”.

The couple had a daughter, Isobel, in September 2007 and when Mr Rogers was made redundant they decided he should be a house husband for a while.

“Mark loved the time he got to spend with Isobel,” said Ms Hopkins in her statement.

“I spoke to Mark at 5pm and he said they had had a great time and were heading back to Eileen’s house.”

 Story via ThisIsBristol.co.uk

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