Homeless man crushed to death after night in Smethwick bin

A homeless man was crushed to death after the bin he was sleeping in was collected with him still inside, an inquest heard.

Homeless man crushed to death after night in Smethwick bin

Workers at Biffa Recycling discovered the body of Ranjit Singh among a pile of rubbish when it was lifted on to sorting conveyor belts by a large metal-clawed crane.

Dc Aki Heer, of West Midlands Police, read out a statement by Mark Bradshaw, night supervisor on the line at the Tipton site, who said he knew something was wrong when he heard a 'thud'.

He closed the line down and immediately called emergency services when he found the body of 48-year-old Mr Singh.

Dc Heer said: "A post mortem found he had sustained catastrophic crushing injuries including a a broken spine and shattered pelvis and that the injuries were consistent with the large claw machinery found at recycling sites."

Police investigations found that he was last seen the night before his death on September 7 outside the William Hill bookmakers in High Street, Smethwick.

Mr Singh was well known among the homeless community and the inquest at Smethwick Coroners Court heard yesterday that he often slept in bins behind shops.

At the time of his death Mr Singh had twice the legal drink drive limit of alcohol in his blood and had a history of alcohol abuse.

Health and Safety inspector Judith Lloyd said the Biffa Recycling site in Chimney Lane processed around 700 tons of rubbish a day and at the time of Mr Singh's death the bay had been dealing with around 200 tons of recyclables.

She said: "Biffa have a number of systems in place to help drivers deal with people in and around bins."

A jury concluded that Mr Singh's death was an accident and that he had received multiple injuries after being crushed by machinery.

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