The heartbreaking last selfie a tree surgeon took before he reportedly fell to his death down below, has been released.
Paul’s final picture from around 75ft up a tree just 24 hours before he died (Picture: Cavendish)
A tree surgeon took a selfie after joking ‘it’s going to kill me this job’ just 24 hours before he died after falling 75ft while trimming branches.
Paul Daniels, 36, had been working on a row of conifers with a chainsaw while his safety rope was not properly hooked up.
As he chopped the tip of the tree branches suddenly fell on top of him and dragged him down to the ground.
The father-of-two, from Cheadle, Greater Manchester, landed on his back and died from his injureis. Mr Daniels had privately raised concerns with his family about his business partner Jessica Chandley accepting a £2,500 quote to prune 76 trees in just four days at Hazel Grove Golf Club in Stockport, Greater Manchester.
An expert told an inquest into his death that it would be impossible to complete that amount of work in the time given. During the four day hearing at Stockport, Miss Chandley said that they talked about using a cherry picker to help them but it was deemed unfeasible because of ground levels and the width of the trees at the bottom.
She said: ‘I was working on cutting some smaller branches down when I heard a crash and then I heard Ollie shout “Oh my God, he just came out of the tree.”
‘I didn’t know what to do, I was in such a state of shock. We did all the necessary risk assessments, Paul was very particular about it. Conifers are usually safe.’
Engineer Oliver Bancroft said: ‘Paul thew his tag line down and I caught it and attached the pull line to it then sent it back up to him.
‘He climbed to the highest part of the tree, attached the pull line to the top of the tree and threw it out so that I could catch it. He climbed back into the conifer and I couldn’t see him at all because there was so much foliage.
‘I heard him shout “No Ollie, wait, don’t pull”. I didn’t pull but the rope went slack the tree started to fall. He came out of the tree and the tree fell too, he fell to the bottom and the tree landed on top of him.
Police criticised the practice of taking selfies at the top of trees while working as a tree surgeon (Picture: Cavendish)
‘I only saw him when he got to the top of the tree, after that he was completely covered by the branches.
‘Paul was a brilliant tree surgeon and he loved his job. He took pride in being the best of the best.’
But Mr Daniels’ mother Donna told the Stockport hearing: ‘He loved his job but he didn’t like the company he was working for and he didn’t like the job they were on.
‘He didn’t feel they were getting enough money for it and the job was far too big. He said to me “It’s going to kill me with this job”.’
She added: ‘He couldn’t wait to get his own business set up and start out on his own. I took him to the golf club on the day he died.
‘I gave him a big hug and a big kiss and told him not to worry about his job and I told him to be careful. I just wished that I could have watched him doing what he loved.’
Louise Owen, mother of Mr Daniels’ two children aged 13 and 15 told the inquest: ‘The last time I saw Paul was on November 18 when he came round to talk about going away for Christmas with myself and the children.’
She added: ‘He was saving up money to get his own business sorted. He loved trees and loved working on them. I wasn’t aware of any other problems he had.
‘The last text I received from him was about giving some money for the children. He loved them so much.’
Peter Pollard an Arboricultural Officer at Stockport Council said: ‘I personally wouldn’t have been able to do that job in four days, its a demanding job and wouldn’t have been possible to do it in that timeframe – although I don’t believe he made any error. I believe Paul was acting professionally.’
A jury returned a verdict of accidental death.