Power worker discovered electrocuted body in Barnsley

Shaun Stewart
Shaun Stewart

A power cable worker has spoken of the moment he found a man’s electrocuted body in a field near Barnsley.

Darren Cunnington told a jury he found 29-year-old Brent Campbell after going to investigate a power cut - which had affected 3,000 homes - at a secluded spot near Darfield in the middle of the night.

Mr Cunnington said when he reached the electricity substation at Tyas Hall Farm it was ‘pitch black’ but he could see the terminal pole had been felled.

Asked what his immediate thought was, he replied: “Copper thieves.”

Mr Cunnington added: “I knew we would be out all night putting it back together.”
He said he walked 30 metres along the line and then discovered a man’s body.

“He was among the wires,” he said. “He was lying on his back. He was lifeless.”

The prosecution alleges Mr Campbell and his father, Shaun Stewart, were out stealing overhead power cabling when Mr Campbell suffered an 11,000 volt electric shock.

Stewart, aged 52, of Lord Street, Hoyle Mill, Barnsley, suffered severe injuries and was taken to hospital.

He is on trial at Sheffield Crown Court where he denies the manslaughter of his son and attempted theft.

The jury was also read the statement of Richard Wilson, an electrical engineer for Northern Power Grid. He said: “On the night of March 26, 2012, I was in charge of a zone covering Barnsley, Wakefield and Castleford.

“At 9.45pm I received a call from the control engineer that there was a fault on the line. This meant approximately 3,000 customers were without power.”

Mr Wilson said he made several attempts to reconnect the power, and re-energised the line, only for it to cut out again.

He said at 1.55am he took a call from Mr Cunnington who told him a telegraph pole had been vandalised and there was a fatality on site.

The trial continues.