Man cleared of killing teenage worker during summer job
A culpable homicide case against Dean Reynolds was found not proven by a jury.
A man has been cleared of killing a teenage workmate by switching on an industrial machine while he was inside.
Dean Reynolds, 23, stood trial accused of culpable homicide following the death of 17-year-old Michael McLean.
Prosecutors claimed he started up an oil rig cable pulling machine, causing it rotate while the teenager was in its drum.
But on Friday, a jury at the High Court in Aberdeen found the case against Reynolds not proven.
Mr McLean died six days after being found unconscious at Denholm MacNamee's industrial cleaning and painting facility in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire.
The trial heard Mr McLean was found bleeding from the ears on the floor of a paint shed on August 14, 2015 - the last day of his summer job at the firm.
His father - who also worked at the company - frantically tried to give him CPR before he was rushed to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
The court was told that a post-mortem examination found that Mr McLean had suffered a broken vertebrae in his neck, which caused a tear in his spinal cord leading to cardiac arrest which starved his brain of oxygen.
Reynolds, of Keith, Aberdeenshire, denied a charge of culpable homicide.
An alternative charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act and a second charge of attempting to pervert the course were dropped at the end of the Crown case.
A jury of six men and nine women took one-and-a-half hours to find the charge not proven by a majority verdict.
Reynolds started straight ahead and showed no emotion as the verdict was read.
Judge Lord Beckett told Reynolds: "You have been acquitted by the jury's not proven verdict, you are discharged and free to go."