THE wife of a man who was crushed to death beneath a supermarket goods lift has spoken of her pain at losing him.

Former soldier Kenneth Heron, from Tranent, had been carrying out routine maintenance on the 'scissor' lift, used to transfer goods between two levels in a storeroom at the Co-op store in Bridgend, Perth.

The incident took place on October 11, 2019. Mr Heron died in hospital six days later.

Sheryl Heron, Kenneth’s wife, released a heartfelt statement following the determination of a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) on Friday.

The sheriff confirmed in his ruling that the failure to provide supporting blocks/external props contributed to the accident and had his employers, Wanzl, provided the correct supporting blocks, then the accident could have been avoided.

Sheryl, 41, had been Kenny’s partner since 2008 after meeting in Abu Dhabi, where they both worked.

East Lothian Courier: Sheryl Heron with her late husband Kenny. Image: family

Sheryl Heron with her late husband Kenny. Image: family

The pair returned to Scotland to settle down on Valentine’s Day in 2019, then married on June 30 that year – Kenny died just four months later.

Sheryl, from Loanhead, said: “It’s been nearly four years since his passing and I cannot count the amount of times I’ve gone to bed crying, then woke up crying.

“The only way I can cope each day is pretending Kenny is away for work and he’ll come back.

“It was our anniversary on June 30 so I took his urn to Oban – a place we always wanted to visit together – but while I tried to make the most of the trip, I ended up being too sad to go anywhere, so I mostly stayed in the hotel and just talked to the urn.

“Kenny was a devoted husband and a loving son and brother – he served in the armed forces, worked overseas and travelled the world, and it is not fair or right that his life ended this way.

East Lothian Courier: Sheryl Heron with her husband's ashes. Image: Digby Brown

Sheryl Heron with her husband's ashes. Image: Digby Brown

“I am annoyed it has taken all this time for answers but at least now we have a sheriff confirming Wanzl did not provide Kenny with the right equipment and they did not carry out the right safety checks before he died.

“The day of Kenny’s death is also the same date as the death of my father, who died in 2013, so it just intensifies the pain, as I now feel like all the good men in my life are gone.

“I just don’t know how to get over this.

“I’d finally just like to thank everyone who has supported me and Kenny’s family over the years, but we now just request our privacy is respected as we try to move forwards.”

Kenny worked as an electronic technician with Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers with the British Army between 1988 and 2000.

He also worked as a weapons technician with the Royal Saudi Naval Force between 2005 and 2011.

He then went on to work in offshore maintenance in Abu Dhabi, where he met Sheryl.

East Lothian Courier: Sheryl Heron with her late husband Kenny. Image: family

Sheryl Heron with her late husband Kenny. Image: family

Simon Hammond, partner at Digby Brown Solicitors in Edinburgh, has been supporting Kenny’s family during the FAI and in a separate civil action against Kenny’s employers.

He added: “It is clear from our investigations, and now confirmed in the FAI determination, that corners were cut in the safety, training, equipment, risk assessments and systems of working at Wanzl Ltd.

“Fatal accidents of this kind are profoundly devastating for families and completely avoidable – they simply shouldn’t be happening in modern workplaces and we will continue to support Sheryl and Kenny’s family to ensure they get the answers and recognition they deserve.”