Rueben Barnes
Rueben Barnes

Rueben Barnes' employer to face court on perjury charges

UPDATE: AN EMPLOYER of the Rockhampton teen who was electrocuted while installing insulation will face court for allegedly lying at the coronial inquest of Rueben Barnes.

Arrow Property Maintenance co-director Christopher Jackson, 51, told the inquest on March 12, 2013, that he had inspected the Stanwell work site on the morning of the 16-year-old's death.

Mr Jackson, who ran the company with his brother Richard, reportedly told Coroner Michael Barnes he went up a ladder and did a hand check before leaving Rueben with two other workers. But police will allege Mr Jackson lied to the coroner and he did not actually inspect the site.

Coroner Barnes referred Mr Jackson to the Director of Public Prosecutions for possible perjury charges.

He found Mr Jackson might have lied about his inspection of the work site and failed to fill out a work method statement that listed the risks at the site.

Detective Sergeant Nick Williams said after investigating both recommendations, police decided to charge Mr Jackson with one count of perjury for allegedly not inspecting the work site.

Mr Jackson will appear in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on June 13.

The court heard the company went bankrupt after Rueben's death when they were fined for electrical safety offences.

Rueben's inquest also related to the deaths of Matthew Fuller and Mitchell Sweeney, who were also killed while installing insulation in Queensland homes as part of Kevin Rudd's home insulation scheme. They were electrocuted while working in the roofs.

Their deaths have come into the spotlight again while a Royal Commission investigates the scheme.

3pm Tuesday: POLICE have charged a 51-year-old Rockhampton man with perjury following investigations into evidence provided at a coronial inquest in Brisbane last year.

It will be alleged on March 12, 2013, the man provided false evidence to the Coroner in relation to the death of Rueben Barnes, who died in an industrial incident at Stanwell on November 18, 2009.

The man has been charged with one count of perjury and is due to appear in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on June 13.



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