The horrific irony of the Simon Jones case is that Simon himself had been a fervent campaigner for employment rights.

He was involved in the anti-poll tax movement's demonstrations and wrote for SchNews, the weekly direct action newsletter.

He was part of direct action in support of the Liverpool dockers' strike against the casualisation of the port while studying at Sussex University.

Friends said he would not wait for politicians to put things right.

His girlfriend of three years, Emma Aynsley, 28, said she believed Simon had become a martyr to the campaign for better employment rights in a similar way murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence became a central figure for groups fighting racism.

She said: "The similarities are there - when a member of your family dies, justice should be automatic, not something you have to fight for when you should be grieving."

At the time of his death, the student, originally from Banbury in Oxfordshire, was taking a year off from his social anthropology studies to travel and work.

Emma said: "He was a very cheery chap with a big smile and a wonderful sense of humour.

"He loved to travel and was planning to return to Spain. He really saw the world as his oyster."

Emma said Simon was sent to work at Shoreham after missing his bus to a job on the bins in Brighton.

She said: "He did not realise he was going to work at Euromin until Friday. He didn't have any experience working in ships.

"During the day, I had been trying to phone him and was becoming increasingly angry because he was not answering his mobile.

"I finally got through at 5pm to his home and spoke to someone who said they were terribly sorry but there was an accident at work and he had died."

Simon's brother, Tim, 25, who lives in Sheffield, said: "He was a great guy who did a lot for me. He was very popular. He looked out for me when we were younger."

Friend Colin Chalmers helped set up the Simon Jones Memorial Campaign, which was led by Simon's parents, Anne and Chris.

Candlelit vigils have been held on anniversaries of Simon's birthday and his death, on April 24, 1998.

Celebrities and MP George Galloway added their voices to the calls for Euromin to be put on trial.

On September 1, 1998, 30 protesters occupied Euromin's premises at Shoreham harbour on what would have been Simon's 25th birthday.

Two days later, the Brighton office of employment agency Personnel Selection was stormed by the protesters.

On March 3, 1999, Labour MP George Galloway tabled a question in the House of Commons about health and safety enforcement at work.

As recorded in Hansard he said: "Simon was no dock worker. Driven by the jobseeker's allowance scheme, he was sent to his death by a company called Personnel Selection.

"This company undoubtedly failed in its statutory duty to ensure its client's suitability for the job to which it was sending him and to provide the written terms and conditions of the job.

"He died, almost decapitated by the grab of a crane, only two hours after starting work and after only a two-minute briefing on what the job entailed. That two minutes was meant to equip him with the skills of a stevedore, one of Britain's five most dangerous jobs.

"Sean Currey, who had nightmares for months afterwards, was asked later to clean the blood and remains of Simon off the bags of stones so they could be sold. He was sent home for the day without pay for refusing to do so."

In their bid to bring Euromin and Martell to trial, campaigners from the Simon Jones Memorial Campaign staged a lobby outside Parliament before storming the main entrance of the Department of Trade and Industry.

One year after his death, in 1999, Simon's family laid a wreath at the Health and Safety Executive.

On September 20, 1999, Deputy Judge Nigel Pleming QC gave Simon Jones's family permission to seek a judicial review of the Crown Prosecution Service's (CPS) refusal to bring manslaughter charges against Euromin.

He said there was "clearly an arguable case" about whether the cause of the tragedy had been properly considered.

On March 10, 2000, Hove Town Hall hosted a fund-raising evening for the campaign, starring comedians Mark Thomas, Jo Brand and Rob Newman.

Mark Thomas told The Argus at the time: "The death of Simon Jones was a tragedy which could have been prevented."

On March 23, 2000, two judges ordered the CPS to reconsider its decision not to prosecute Euromin or Martell.

On September 1, 2000, Simon's birthday, the CPS finally decided to prosecute Euromin and Mr Martell on December 19.