UK Power Networks to be sued after Stevenage scientist electrocuted by 11,000-volt cable while out jogging

James Kew died when he came into contact with a fallen electricity cable while out running with the

James Kew died when he came into contact with a fallen electricity cable while out running with the Saffron Striders running club. - Credit: Archant

A power company is being sued after a Stevenage scientist was killed by an 11,000-volt cable while out jogging.

Dr James Kew, a director of biology in GlaxoSmithKline’s research department in Gunnels Wood Road, died instantly after being electrocuted in the horror incident on July 24, 2012.

An overhead power line had come down and was reported as being at head height in a field in the Essex village of Newport.

Now UK Power Networks is being prosecuted after the 41-year-old’s death.

The power company is accused of a health and safety offence in that between November 27, 2008, and July 31, 2013, it failed to ensure that Dr Kew and others were not exposed to risk of electrocution by coming into contact with a live conductor from a wholly or partly downed overhead power line.


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No plea was entered by the company and magistrates have sent the case to Chelmsford Crown Court. The next hearing will be on January 11.

A jury at Chelmsford Coroner’s Court last year recorded a verdict that Dr Kew, who suffered severe burns, died accidentally.

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Dr Kew, from Ashdon in Essex, was a member of Saffron Striders Running Club and played hockey for Bishop’s Stortford.

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