Grieving Sheffield woman’s High Court fight

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A WOMAN whose partner died in an industrial accident when she was seven months pregnant is taking her fight for compensation to the High Court today.

Laurie Swift, aged 29, from Stradbroke, Sheffield, lost partner Alan Winters, 28, in 2008 just weeks before she was due to give birth.

But she was not eligible for compensation because the couple were not married.

Crane driver Alan died from massive crush injuries when he and colleagues tried to unload a four-ton crate from a shipping container at Davy Markham in Darnall.

Her lawyers are challenging ‘unfair and outdated’ legislation which denies fair recompense to people who have lost loved ones in fatal accidents.

Laurie did not qualify as a dependent and was not entitled to compensation because the couple hadn’t been cohabiting for two years or more.

Her laywers are arguing the law is in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights - the right to family life.

Laurie said: “It’s not right this out-of-date law harms families who have already suffered a horrible loss.

“I hope this case will mean others won’t have to go through the pain my children and I have gone through. It’s wrong a 40-year-old law can say the father of my child, the man I loved, was not really my partner. This has to change - I’m glad my case might make that happen.”