The tragic death of Sunderland dad Jay McLaren could have been avoided by a simple bin lock ... is it time to make them mandatory?

We may never know what possessed Jay McLaren to climb into a recycling bin on a night out with friends, but we share his family's wish to ensure others do not have to face a similar tragedy.

Thursday, 4th October 2018, 4:54 pm
Updated Friday, 5th October 2018, 4:10 pm
Jay McLaren's family outside the coroner's court

It would be easy to dismiss his death as a freak accident, but incidents involving people sleeping in giant waste bins is on the increase.

Statistics revealed by waste management firm Biffa two years ago showed that the number of people found sleeping in their bins had increased six-fold in just three years.By 2016, 11 people had been killed in five years because of sleeping in bins, most of them had been crushed to death.

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Family of tragic Sunderland dad Jay McLaren hope his death will save others

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Jay died after a night out with friends. At some point in the evening he climbed into a bin. The bins were collected and Jay’s body was later discovered at the waste centre. He had suffered fatal crush injuries.

Jay’s accident followed a night out with pals, but the many incidents of people sleeping in bins are connected with homelessness. They are seeking shelter in these bins. Jay’s fiancee Kelly-Ann Wilde believes his death could have been prevented.

Her concerns are echoed by assistant coroner Andrew Hetherington, who is set to raise the issue of locking bins to the relevant authorities. There is no doubt that locking these bins would be the safest option.

At the moment, however, these locks are at the discretion of individuals and businesses. If they were made mandatory, these tragedies would be avoided. We await the response of the authorities with interest.

In the meantime the heartfelt words of Kelly-Ann speak volumes. She said: “Nothing that is said or done will bring James back but we hope that this will send a message out and prevent tragedies of this nature in future.”

We share her hopes.