A MILLIONAIRE property developer and his foreman are facing a re-trial over the death of a carpenter who fell at their building site.
The manslaughter trial of Mike Holland and Grant Oakes ground to a halt a Lewes Crown Court yesterday.
The case, which opened on Tuesday, was stopped after Judge Christine Laing discharged the jury.
Holland, 69, of King’s Road, Brighton, and site foreman Oakes, 46, of Elm Drive, Hove, are charged with manslaughter by gross negligence, which they both deny.
Oakes also denies failing to discharge his duty under the Health and Safety Act 1974.
The pair were arrested after David Clark fell while working on a stable block at Stanmer Park in September 2014.
Paramedics rushed to the aid of the 55-year-old, of Dyke Road Avenue, Hove. He was airlifted to hospital but died a month later.
Holland and Oakes have been on bail for more than two years while Sussex Police and the Health and Safety Executive investigated the death.
Holland, who once appeared on the TV programme Secret Millionaire, was given planning permission to convert the site in to seven two-bedroom houses and one two-bedroom flat in January 2014.
Holland had been granted a long-term lease from Brighton and Hove City Council in 2004 for the 18th century Stanmer House and spent £5 million transforming it into a restaurant and wedding venue.
Judge Laing apologised to the jury, which had been waiting all morning to enter court, and said they would all have to be discharged.
She told jurors that one of them had spoken to her about a “number of reasons” why they felt they could no longer take part.
Addressing the 11 remaining, she said: “[The problems] were primarily related to commitments he has.
“It is clearly of great concern to the court that he failed to mention this when asked [before the trial began].
“I am satisfied that he is not fit to continue his service on this jury.”
She explained how the principles of law required a jury of 12 and in the interests of justice she should discharge the entire jury and the trial would have to “start afresh”.
Judge Laing said she “deeply regretted” that witnesses who had already been called to the stand would have to give evidence again during a re-trial, adding: “This means further delays for the defendants.”
She warned the jurors that another jury would be selected for the re-trial so urged them not to discuss the case with anyone until that is concluded.