News

Rueben Barnes' family label boss' sentence a 'joke'

Rueben Barnes
Rueben Barnes

FAMILY members of 16-year-old Rueben Barnes, who was fatally electrocuted at work in 2009, have labelled the three-month jail sentence handed down to his former employer a "joke".

Christopher Leonard Jackson put in an early guilty plea to perjury offences committed during the coronial inquest into the death, and was sentenced to 18 months' jail with a parole release date of May 7 in the Rockhampton District Court on February 8.

Rueben was working on a "botched" home insulation scheme when he was electrocuted in the roof of a house near Rockhampton in 2009, during his third week on the job.

Jackson, who was the Arrow Property Maintenance co-director at the time, told the 2013 inquest he had inspected the Stanwell work site on the morning of Rueben's death.

He had reportedly told Coroner Michael Barnes he went up a ladder and did a "hand check" before leaving Rueben with two other workers. But police later alleged Jackson lied to the coroner and did not actually inspect the site, and Coroner Barnes referred Jackson to the Director of Public Prosecutions for potential perjury charges.

He found Jackson might have lied about his inspection of the work site and failed to fill out a work method statement that listed the risks at the site.

Bill Potts, who was acting for Rueben's father Murray Barnes during the inquest, said he had also put forward a recommendation that Jackson be charged with perjury.

"I can say that at the end of the coronial inquest I made a submission, as did the council assisting, that Jackson be charged with perjury as a result of the evidence," he said yesterday.

"The decision to jail someone is recognition that people who give evidence in any court proceedings have an obligation to tell the truth no matter how painful, embarrassing and shameful.

"In these circumstances, the public must understand that lying to a coroner - particularly in circumstances relating to the death of a 16-year-old boy who was electrocuted on his third week of work - about the safety training and the mechanisms of dealing with the incident is of the utmost seriousness."

It is believed Jackson's company went bankrupt following Rueben's death when they were fined for electrical safety offences.

The family of Rueben was approached for further comment but could not be reached prior to print.

Tuesday: THE former employer of 16-year-old Rueben Barnes, who was fatally electrocuted at work in 2009, has been sentenced to jail time in a Rockhampton court.

Christopher Leonard Jackson was sentenced to 18 months jail in the Rockhampton District Court on February 8 with a parole release date of May 7 after pleading guilty to perjury offences committed during the coronial inquest into the death.

Rueben was working on a "botched" home insulation scheme when he was electrocuted in the roof of a house near Rockhampton in 2009, during his third week on the job.

Jackson, who was the Arrow Property Maintenance co-director at the time, told the 2013 inquest he had inspected the Stanwell work site on the morning of Rueben's death.


But police later alleged Jackson lied to the coroner and did not actually inspect the site, and Coroner Barnes referred Jackson to the Director of Public Prosecutions for potential perjury charges.


He found Jackson might have lied about his inspection of the work site and failed to fill out a work method statement that listed the risks at the site.
 

Topics:  editors picks, electrocution, home insulation scheme, rockhampton district court, rueben barnes



UPDATE: Two people airlifted after serious crash

Emergency Services: Ambulance, QAS,Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

Emergency services clear the scene of serious crash

UPDATE: Escaped prisoner ditches chase vehicle

Police

The man was due to be sentenced this morning

Ben Ross to attend Black Dog Ball

BLACK DOG BALL: NRL Community Brand Ambassador Ben Ross will be in attendance at this years Black Dog Ball.

Black Dog Ball will have a special guest attending this year.

Local Partners

10 of the worst wedding day disasters

Getting hitched without a hitch. That's the aim, right?

Trump's comments make light of statutory rape

Trevor Noah has gone to town on Donald Trump's sexism

Forza Horizon 3 review: Australia's never looked so good

Fancy racing a freight train?

Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Twelve Apostles feature

Tommy goes home in emotional Bachelorette episode

The Bachelorette contestant Tommy Saggus.

BRISBANE bachelor hopes show will give him more confidence.

Kim Kardashian West wants restraining order against prankster

She was attacked by Vitalii Sediuk for the second time in two years

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Projects hoped to revive Rockhampton real estate

There have been just over 800 house sales in Rockhampton this year

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual