An inquest has found a tyre which exploded, killing a 23-year-old farmer from Longridge, should never have had repairs attempted on it.

The inquest into the death of Joshua James Hardman, concluded today (Tuesday, January 23), three years on from his death, when the jury returned its conclusion.

Joshua, known as Josh by his loved ones, died after he sustained a head injury whilst working at Old Grange Farm, in Grange Lane, Hutton, when a tractor tyre exploded during inflation.

Today at County Hall in Preston, his family, including his father Tim Hardman, have finally received answers as to how he died after a two day hearing.

After hours of deliberation, an inquest jury gave a narrative conclusion, and said: "Joshua James Hardman died as a result of his traumatic head injury caused by a tyre explosion at his place of work.

"The tyre was ruled as unfit to repair, and Josh was also recorded as standing too close to the tyre when the incident happened."

A representative of W Hesketh & Sons, Jim Buchanan, told the court Old Grange Farm has worked with the Health and Safety Executive to implement safety measures, to ensure a death like Josh's does not occur again.

This includes hiring external manufacturers to repair large tyres, instead of performing them in house, and ensuring staff have official training before attempting to conduct work on tyres.

At the end of the two day inquest, Coroner Christopher Long said: "There is a system of work in place that would now be inherently different to ensure that another death like this does not happen again.

"It is bittersweet as things have clearly been improved, but it is as a result of what happened to Josh. I am just so genuinely sorry for the family's loss."

On Friday, May 7, 2021, Josh had repaired a tyre puncture on a tractor on the farm, owned by W Hesketh & Sons.

As part of Josh's daily tasks, he would regularly tend to sheep, cows, and repair punctures to tyres.

However, on that day, Josh flagged an issue to his supervisor and co-owner of the farm, William Hesketh, to say the tyre was not 'sitting well' when he tried to put it back on to the tractor.

The inquest heard Mr Hesketh used a compressor to check the tyre pressure, but as he was doing so, the tyre exploded and parts of the tyre hit Josh in the head, knocking him unconscious and to the floor.

The tyre had not been restrained, as safety guidelines suggest it should have been.

Josh was taken to Royal Preston Hospital, where bleeding and swelling on his brain was found.

He died on Friday, June 11, 2021, at the age of 23, after he contracted an infection that doctors said could not be treated.

Further investigation by the Health and Safety Executive will be conducted in the near future to conclude whether there is any criminal liability for his death.

An inspector from HSE told the court that when they inspected the tyre after the explosion, the damage to the tyre should have been deemed as "non repairable".

When Mr Hesketh was questioned if Josh had received official training, and how many times the tyre had been repaired in the past, he answered 'no comment'.

Josh was described by his family as a loving person who "did all he could to help others even before himself", and said he was irreplaceable.

He leaves behind his daughter, Bonneigh.