Ex Barnsley soldier who died from electric shock was ‘stealing cable with his dad’

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A former soldier died from a 11,000 volt electric shock when he was out stealing overhead power cabling with his father, a court heard.

Brent Campbell, aged 29, never regained consciousness after he was electrocuted at Tyers Hall pumping station in Darfield, Barnsley, in March 2012.

His body was discovered by electrical engineers from Northern Power Grid who were called out to investigate the cause of a power cut which affected more than 2,000 homes.

His father Shaun Kenny Stewart, of Lord Street, Hoyle Mill, is on trial at Sheffield Crown Court accused of his son’s manslaughter and attempted theft, charges he denies.

The prosecution allege Stewart, aged 52, also received an electric shock in the incident and suffered burns to his chest and leg.

Simon Phillips QC, prosecuting, said engineers tracked the fault down to Tyers Hall pumping station at 12.32am but when they tried to turn the power back on it tripped out immediately numerous times.

“The team went to the area, there they discovered that the transformer pole had been felled and at 2.11am in a field some 40metres from the fallen pole, they discovered a body,” said Mr Phillips.

“The emergency services were called and demanded the overhead line was isolated.

“The man who had been electrocuted was Brent Campbell, aged 29. He never regained consciousness.”

“The prosecution case is that at the time of his death the deceased and his father, the defendant, had been together attempting to steal overhead cable and both were electrocuted in the process. 
“Brent Cambell received fatal injuries. The defendant received burn injuries which obviously did not kill him.”

Mr Phillips said electrical cable was found coiled around Mr Campbell’s body.

He said the prosecution allege Stewart was also stealing cable and had suffered a more minor electric shock of between 240 and 415 volts.

Mr Phillips said the jury would hear from various experts including a forensic electrial engineer.

“He will tell you about his experienced assessment of the prospect of surviving an electric shock of 11,000 vaults and one of 415 volts or less.

“He will tell you about the position of the defendant when he received his injuries and he will also tell you that Brent Campbell was knocked to the ground whilst coiling up the cable.”
Mr Phillips said the power was tripped at 9.41pm and Campbell, of Tuxford Crescent, Lundwood, was electrocuted 9.44pm.

He said he might have survived if his body had been removed from the line immediately.

Mr Phillips added jurors would also hear from Mr Stewart’s partner, Mr Campbell’s mother.

The trial continues.