28 Feb 2011

Families' relief at coroner's findings into a father's death

11:59 pm on 28 February 2011

Relatives of a Northland man killed in a British recycling plant say a coroner's finding of accidental death is a great relief.

Lee Sheppard, who was 26, went missing in 2003 during his night shift at European Metal Recycling - a fridge-crushing plant in North London.

The Metropolitan Police re-opened their inquiry into his disappearance in 2008 after Mr Sheppard's family hired a private investigator.

A London inquest this week found he was asphyxiated by nitrogen gas, and his body was then crushed in the shredder.

His father-in-law Dave Porteous says the finding ends eight long years of waiting for his daughter Juliet, and brings some comfort.

Mr Porteous says his daughter is now on her way home from the inquest with her son, who was born after his father's death.