TRAGEDY: Sean Scovell was killed seven years ago in June 2012 in a tragic workplace incident.
TRAGEDY: Sean Scovell was killed seven years ago in June 2012 in a tragic workplace incident. Contributed

'He just deserved so much more'

SEAN Scovell should have celebrated his 28th birthday this year surrounded by those he loved.

Instead those same loved ones are left with an enduring heartache over his death seven years ago.

And their pain is only compounded as the legal proceedings over Sean's death continue through the courts.

"He just deserved so much more," Sean's father Brett Scovell said.

"He was such a lovely person. He could talk to anyone from the age of eight to 80... and people left him feeling better than when they met him.

"He befriended anyone, he went out of his way to help people, he cared about people."


Sean Scovell's parents Brett and Bonnie Scovell
STILL GRIEVING: Sean Scovell's parents Brett and Bonnie Scovell. Contributed

ON June 5, 2012 the 21-year-old went to work at South Moranbah Quarry and was returned to his parents in a body bag.

Sean's hand had become caught in a conveyor belt because the machinery he was working on did not have the required safety guarding.

For his parents - Brett and Bonnie Scovell - the next seven years would become a blur of court mentions including an attempt to stay the proceedings.

But last month a Brisbane magistrate found Quarry boss William McDonald, his company MCG Quarries and site senior supervisor Tony Addinsall guilty of breaching health and safety obligations.

"I was pretty disheartened with what I had heard. What I first thought was just an unforeseen accident... to learn it was completely avoidable," Mr Scovell said.

MCDONALD was jailed for 18 months with parole release after six.

He was granted bail pending an appeal.

Addinsall, who resigned shortly after Sean's death, was fined $35,000 with no conviction recorded. And MCG, which is now insolvent, was fined $400,000.


JUSTICE: Biggenden's Bonnie and Brett Scovell with the canvas prints of their beloved son Sean. Photo Rose Hamilton-Barr / Central & North Burnett Times
Biggenden's Bonnie and Brett Scovell with the canvas prints of their beloved son Sean. Rose Hamilton-Barr

But Mr Scovell said he was disappointed by the result, especially considering McDonald planned to fight the jail term.

"Six months is nothing compared to cutting someone's life short by 60 years and the misery suffered by his family and friends," he said.

In early 2016 Global Crushers and Spares, which had been hired by MCG to design and import conveyor belts, and two directors Stuart Mitchell Wieland and James Andrew Kinross pleaded guilty to breaching safety standards.

The company was fined $30,000 and the two directors $15,000 each. All three were also ordered to pay costs totalling $61,536.41.

THE decision last month also had another bittersweet element for the Scovells.

"Now that it's over we feel that Sean has become a number. He'd the 460th person to die in mining accidents in Australia," Mr Scovell said.

"Even though it's great to have the closure of the court case, Sean has just become a statistic rather than someone people can read about and relate to," Mr Scovell said.

"We don't want our son to be forgotten."


DEARLY MISSED: Sean Scovell, 21-years-old, was the latest fatality from a Queensland mining tradgedy.

Photo Contributed
DEARLY MISSED: Sean Scovell, was 21 years old when he died in a workplace incident in June 2012 at South Moranbah Quarry. Contributed

The couple, who own a service station at Biggenden, still grieve deeply for their son.

"He could have been married by now, he could have had his own kids," Mr Scovell said.

"The pain just doesn't go away. You may get used to it, but it still hurts. I still have nightmares.

"We know each of us are hurting in a different way. I'm lucky that I've got such a strong family."

MR Scovell said there were so many triggers reminding them of their beloved son.

"I used to say things like, have a nice day, now I'm saying things like, have a safe day," he said.

"And you live in so much regret. Treasure those who are left and you realise how much you took for granted."

Without their business Mr Scovell said "we would honestly go crazy".

"You need something to occupy your mind," he said.

"Thoughts go through your head and you try to block them out but you don't want to because you don't want to lose any memories."


SAD LOSS: Brett and Bonnie Scovell are distraught after the death of their 21 year old Son Sean in a mining accident.

Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail
SAD LOSS: Brett and Bonnie Scovell are still distraught after the death of their 21-year-old son Sean in an industrial accident. Scottie Simmonds BUN150612SON5

SEAN'S parents hoped their son's case would spark a coronial inquest.

However, this won't be possible until any criminal proceedings are finalised under section 29 of the Coroner's Act.

"Sean may have already saved a few lives as more safety measures were implemented (in other sites) following his death," he said. "But nothing will give us our son back."