A former UKIP candidate has been jailed for causing the death of a worker who was crushed in a trench.

Keith Crawford was sentenced to 30 months in prison for gross negligence manslaughter and failing to ensure the safety of an employee. The man became trapped under mud after a 9ft trench he was digging for a drain next to Crawford’s swimming pool in Devon collapsed on him in 2015. He was pulled out with a strap around his chest attached to a digger arm, but suffered several broken ribs and crush injuries, and died from cardiac arrest in hospital three days later.

Crawford was accused of ignoring safety warnings and refusing to hire equipment which would have prevented the accident. The costs would have been around £480. The handyman was told: “F*ck that, it’s getting stupid money now. Just carry on with what you are doing”.

Passing sentence at Bristol Crown Court, Mr Justice Dingemans said: “No sentence I can impose can reflect the loss to Mr Clements’s wife Amanda and her family.”

In addition, Crawford was given a concurrent sentence of 12 months for failure to comply with health and safety legislation, and ordered to pay £15,000, to cover the costs of the two prosecution authorities, within six months.