A MAN has appeared in court in connection with the death of a man found trapped under a cement mixer more than 11 years ago.

Simon Bromley, 45, has been charged with the manslaughter of Lee Balkwell who was found dead under the drum of a cement mixer at Baldwin’s Farm, in Dennises Lane, South Ockendon.

Bromley – Mr Balkwell’s boss at the time – has also been charged with an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

This alleges he failed to ensure Mr Balkwell’s health and safety between July 16 and July 19, 2002, while he worked on the cement vehicle.

The body of Mr Balkwell, 33, was found wedged under the drum and chassis of a Hymix concrete mixer at about 1am on July 18, 2002.

The alleged offences took place while Mr Balkwell and Bromley were cleaning cement out of the mixer.

Yesterday Karim Khalil, QC, prosecuting, told Chelmsford Crown Court, papers in the case should be with Bromley’s defence team by early June.

The case was adjourned until next month.

Bromley, from Baldwin’s Farm, Dennises Lane, was granted bail until his next court appearance.

The serious crime squad re-investigated the case after the Independent Police Complaints Commission was critical of Essex Police’s original investigation into Mr Balkwell’s death.