A former recycling firm has been found guilty of corporate manslaughter after the death of a man on its site.

Thirty-five-year-old Dean Atkinson died after suffering “serious” injuries at the now-closed Ward Recycling plant on Windermere Road in Hartlepool.

The company was also found guilty of two charges connected to failing to ensure that staff were not exposed to the risk of injury or death by collision between vehicles and pedestrians at the site following a trial at Teesside Crown Court.

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Sentence will be passed on the Richmond-based firm in the new year after Judge Paul Watson KC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, adjourned the case until January 19.

The firm went into liquidation in April 2021 after reporting losses of more than £1m at its operation making recycled paper products.

On January 30, 2020, emergency services including the air ambulance were called to the site and an investigation launched by police and the health and safety executive as a result of the fatal accident.