Two men appeared in court in Brighton today in connection with the death of Maryport man Stephen Penrice, 44.

MPM North West director Michael John Hawkins, 36, of The Promenade, Maryport, and construction worker Paul Dixon, 52, Newton Drive, Blackpool, were both charged with gross negligence manslaughter and health and safety offences earlier this year.

Solicitors for the men told the court that MPM North West Ltd has been placed in liquidation and indicated no plea by the firm to charges relating to health and safety breaches.

The hearing related an accident five years ago when Mr Penrice, known as Penny, fell off the pier which was being rebuilt by MPM after a major fire.

Mr Penrice was a popular member of the community. Originally from Crosby, he lived in the town and was a staunch player and supporter of the Netherhall Rugby Club.

More than 400 people attended the funeral.

MPM North West is a boat repair company on the Maryport harbour. It won major contracts at home and around the country including renovating the Blackpool tower and maintaining the Fred Olsen boats which service wind turbines in the Solway.

The two men were given unconditional bail and will appear in court again at Lewes for a pre trial hearing on June 13.