FORMER Clancy Group chairman Dermot Clancy was crushed to death when the mower he was using to cut his grass tipped over on top of him, an inquest has heard this week.
Mr Clancy, 67, was found underneath the Kubota tractor-mower in a hollow in a field he owned, next to his large family home in Penn, Buckinghamshire on September 10, 2019.
An inquest held in Beaconsfield on Wednesday and Thursday of this week heard that Mr Clancy’s wife Vicky raised the alarm with neighbour Giles Robinson when she was unable to find him.
In a statement read to the court, Mr Robinson said he had known Mr Clancy, who was the joint chair of the London-based Clancy Group, for 20 years.
He said: ”Vicky said she had not seen him. She said he had been out cutting grass earlier.”
He, his wife Sue and Mrs Clancy went to a dip off Common Wood Lane.
“We looked into the hollow and saw the red of the tractor. His legs were out from under the vehicle. I touched his back and he was cold. I could not see his face.”
His wife called for an ambulance and the father-of-five was pronounced dead at the scene, Yonder Lodge, Elm Road, Penn, at 7.36pm on September 10 last year.
A post-mortem examination was carried out and the cause of death was found to be traumatic asphyxia.
The inquest heard that the tractor-mower was examined, but no defects were found.
At the time, his family, who were not represented at the inquest, issued a statement saying: "His huge personality, his smiles, cheeky disposition and big heartedness will be a loss to the hundreds of lives he touched.
“Above all, Dermot was a family man. He was devoted to his wife Vicky and his five children - Danny, Ronan, Kieran, Joanna and Jack.
“Dermot was never happier than when he was surrounded by his family around the dinner table at his home in Penn.
“He was a famously generous spirit and welcomed hundreds of people into his home for parties and at a places like Royal Ascot, Twickenham and Wembley.
“He leaves behind a legacy of hard work, fun, family values and friendship.”
DC Lucy Berry of Thames Valley Police said the field was part of Mr Clancy’s property, which has extensive grassland.
She said: “I was made aware he did enjoy mowing the lawn. The house was really far back from the land (where he was found). It was very, very steep. You had to go to the edge to see down into the dip.”
The inquest heard Mr Clancy, whose father moved from Ireland to London to set up the construction business, was unaccounted for between 2pm and 6.30pm on the day he died.
DC Berry said: “The family were very shocked and wanted to be left in peace as much as possible.“
Buckinghamshire senior coroner Crispin Butler recorded a verdict of misadventure.
He said: “It was a very tragic accident. The tractor has fallen on Mr Clancy when he was doing something he liked to do on his land. It is a very, very sad accident. It was an ordinary activity that sadly went tragically wrong.”