A digger driver has admitted negligence more than three and half years after the death of a Solihull man on a building site.

The trial of Jonathan Gold, charged with perverting the course of justice, perjury and failing to ensure the safety of a non-employee, was due to start at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday when the defendant changed his plea to guilty.

Site engineer Mark Handford, aged 22, died instantly when the bucket from an excavation digger came loose and fell on him as he helped to carry out levelling work on Claybrook Drive, in Redditch, on August 12, 2009.

His family called for a mandatory ban on the type of digger mechanism involved after an inquest jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

Mr Gold, 48, of Wingfield Road, Coleshill, was working as a subcontractor on the site and was trading as Gold Plant Hire.

Gordon Aspden, prosecuting, said Gold’s negligence had involved failing to lower and retract a hydraulic arm.

Judge Paul Farrer QC adjourned sentence until April 11 for reports to be prepared.