Live updates as inquest reveals how three-year-old boy died in 'freak accident'

Dad was sat in police van ‘unable to speak’

The first statement to be read out to the court is from Nigel Graham Howe, a game farmer. He says: “Holly Farm, Barcham Road, Soham, is my business and residential property. The area consists of my home and 28 acres of land.

“The incident itself took place outside of the hatchery, which is an area consisting of a concrete base with buildings around it. “To the side is a barrel used for refuelling and opposite are sliding doors leading into the hatchery. “The vehicle is used on road and farm but mostly on my farmland, almost always covered in mud with the appearance of being a working farm vehicle.

“The truck is for all members of farm staff to use, but mostly by Mr Pritchard. If it does leave it is almost always the journey from Holly Farm to Mr Pritchard’s home and back. “Mr Pritchard has worked for me as a full time game farmer for five years.

“AJ and his two-year old sister, I’ve known them both since they were born. “It was a warm sunny day, and at the time of the accident it was still daylight. On the day Mr Pritchard arrived at work I first saw him at 7.30, he did his work along with one other of my workers.

“During the day he had a tea break at 7.30am for 15 minutes and 10am for 15 minutes and a lunch break at 1pm for 30 minutes. “The working day came to an end at 6.30pm to 7pm. “Mr Pritchard is an excellent worker who helps to keep my farm running.

Toward the end of the day, Mr Pritchard was checking on the birds while I was in the hatchery. I went out to help him and we began to walk back and met Tanya, AJ and his sister, who had come to walk the dogs. “I went into the house while Mr Pritchard and his family kept walking toward the house.

“My wife and I decided to get a fish and chip dinner. We returned 30 minutes later to find a paramedic fast response vehicle ahead of us travelling at speed along the road. I did not know where this was going but I returned to my yard to see this vehicle along with a large ambulance, police and helicopter and paramedics working on AJ.

“I went to see Mr Pritchard who was sat in the door of a police van distressed and unable to speak.

“At the point of this statement, I do not know what happened to AJ or how it might have occurred.”

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