In September 2011, John Stoddart climbed onto a platform in order to check why there were creases in the paper being produced at his employers, DS Smith Paper, Cullompton, Devon. As no one saw the accident, the circumstances are unclear but it seems that Mr Stoddart was somehow dragged onto a felt belt used to drain water out of the pulp mixture, which then ripped so that he fell into the machinery below, suffering fatal injuries.

DS Smith Paper pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 due to its failure to risk assess the procedure for investigating the cause of creases in paper and for failing to install a guard around the felt belt.

The court sentenced DS Smith Paper to a £400,000 fine and it ordered them to pay legal costs of £34,761.