A disqualified company director has been jailed for flouting health and safety regulations which led to a worker being crushed to death.

Paul O'Boyle was jailed for 26 months today after admitting a string of offences including breach of health and safety regulations, acting as a company director while disqualified, and fraud during his time as a director of Aztech AB Ltd.

It comes four years after Southampton man Ian Middlemiss was killed when a two-tonne sandbox fell onto him while working at the firm.

Today The Recorder of Salisbury Honour Judge Andrew Barnett said O'Boyle, of Andover, showed a "complete disregard" for any health and safety requirements he was responsible for putting in place.

O'Boyle previously admitted four breaches of Section 13 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1996, a breach of the Fraud Act 2006, and a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which relates to the death of Mr Middlemiss.

He was sentenced along with accomplice Russell Lee, of Horseshoe Bridge, Southampton, who escaped jail despite being a "front" for the business.

He received a total of 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, for aiding and abetting Mr O’Boyle in his disqualification and similar breach of Health and Safety at Work Act.

O'Boyle's firm, the now insolvent Aztech BA Ltd, was also fined £100,000.

As reported, 40-year-old Mr Middlemiss died in September 2010 when the box fell on him at Aztech Art Foundry.

He was crushed to death when the sandbox came away from lifting chains of the crane he was using.

Emergency services raced to the premises to reports of a male who had crush injuries but Mr Middlemiss passed away at the scene.

Hampshire police launched a joint probe at that time with the Health and Safety Executive, to determine exactly how he had died.

The prosecution was then brought by the HSE, the Department of Business, Industry and Skills, and the Insolvency Service after the offences came to light following an investigation.

Sentencing O'Boyle, the judge said: "The common feature of your criminality was an absolute disregard to your company directorship.

"So it was that tragedy befell the company when a dreadful industrial accident occurred which robbed one of your employees of his life.

"It was an accident that need not have happened and an accident described by many as an accident waiting to happen, and was caused undoubtedly on failures on your behalf of refusing to heed to earnings you had been given by the HSE, improvement notices, and even after not learning lessons and implementing provisions suggested to you."