A firm has admitted breaking health and safety rules after one of its workers died.

Dave Dow, 63, had popped his head into the back of the trailer to speak to a colleague when the hydraulic tailgate closed on to his neck in May 2012.

He died at the scene at Dengie Crops in Hall Road, Asheldham.

The company appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday and admitted failing to ensure Mr Dow’s safety and failing to have a detailed written risk assessment in place for working on the tailgate.

Dengie Crops will return to court for sentence on July 28.

Ian Hassard, managing director, said after the hearing: “We wish to emphasise that the company has taken this tragic accident extremely seriously.

“Mr Dow was a popular and valued member of the company and the devastating effect of his death has been felt by all at Dengie.

“We again offer our sincerest condolences to Mr Dow’s family and to all those involved in this accident.

“We would also like to add that the company has undertaken a comprehensive review of its health and safety systems.”