A dad who left his own son in a field to die from electrocution after they went out stealing electricity cable is on the run today – after being convicted by a jury in his absence of manslaughter.
Shaun Kenny Stewart, aged 52, sacked his legal team and absconded from Sheffield Crown Court on the seventh day of his trial, failing to return to put his defence case.
He was convicted of the manslaughter of 29-year-old Brent Campbell in his absence yesterday afternoon, and was also found guilty of attempted theft.
The court heard Stewart had a string of previous convictions dating back 40 years for dishonesty offences including theft and burglary, as well as drugs convictions. He had also served jail terms for firearms offences.
His record included 26 convictions for 82 offences.
The court heard that, on March 26, 2012, Stewart, of Lord Street, Hoyle Mill, Barnsley, and his son went armed with tools, torches and walkie-talkies to Tyers Hall pumping station in Darfield, and to get to the cable felled a wooden electricity pole – causing a power cut affecting 3,000 homes.
But, as they coiled up the cable, the line was re-energised, and former soldier Mr Campbell was killed by an 11,000 volt electric shock.
Stewart also suffered third-degree burns to his leg, face and neck – but returned home to his wife without their son, and claimed he could not remember what had happened.
Jailing him for five years, Judge Julian Goose QC described his actions as ‘reprehensible’ and said he had left Brent’s mother ‘devastated’ – and Northern Power Grid with a bill for £37,000.