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Solway Harvester owner under fire

The owner of the Solway Harvester has been heavily criticised at the inquest into the tragedy.

Richard Gidney was accused of acting ‘in his own self-interest’ and aspects of his evidence were described as ‘unsatisfactory and inadequate’.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded at Douglas courthouse, nearly nine years after the vessel sank 11 miles off the Isle of Man with the loss of all seven men on board.

Richard Gidney was acquitted of manslaughter in 2005 but then refused to attend the inquest, claiming he had received legal advice that it may 'prejudice a civil claim' against him.

Coroner Michael Moyle said Mr Gidney offered various unconvincing excuses and, when offered the chance to give evidence via video link, more unconvincing explanations followed.

He was eventually summoned to give evidence at Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court in June.

Mr Moyle told the court it appeared throughout, his first and real concern was his own self-interest, trying to protect himself from what he could perceive as suggestions of failings.

He added any sympathy Mr Gidney had for the crew and their families was also secondary to that.

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