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Site manager guilty of manslaughter after woman crushed to death

A project manager has been found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence after three window frames crushed a woman to death as she walked by a construction site.

Amanda Telfer (pictured), a 43-year-old old consultant solicitor who worked for Keystone Law, was crushed to death on the morning of 30 August 2012.

Three windows weighing 655 kg fell on top of her when she walked past a construction site in London’s Hanover Square.

The Metropolitan Police said the window frames – one about 3.2 m square and two approximately 3.3 m x 1.8 m – had been delivered the previous day as scheduled but couldn’t be fitted immediately due to delays on site.

The windows were left on the pavement overnight, leaning against the building, according to police. 

As Ms Telfer walked past, it is believed a door in the building blew open in the wind, hitting the frames and causing them to topple.

Several members of the public came to help lift the frames off Ms Telfer but she died within about half an hour of the incident.

IS Europe onsite project manager Kelvin Adsett, 64, of New Road, Slough, Berkshire, was convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence as well as offences contrary to Section 7a of the Health and Safety at Work Act. 

Damian Lakin-Hall, 50, of Portsmouth Road, Cobham, Surrey, was convicted of offences contrary to Section 7a of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Mr Lakin-Hall was acquitted of manslaughter.

Mr Lakin-Hall told police officers who arrived at the scene when the incident took place that the windows had been secured to the wall with a ratchet strap, but police said evidence showed this had never been the case.

IS Europe of Slough, Berkshire, was convicted of offences under section two and three of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The convictions follow an investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s homicide and major crime command with the assistance of the Health and Safety Executive.

Metropolitan Police detective chief inspector Andrew Chalmers said it was a “tragic case” and that the individuals and company prosecuted had a “laissez-faire attitude to health and safety”.

He said: “Amanda died four-and-a-half years ago and this has been an incredibly long and complex case to bring before the courts with many many hours of enquiries carried out by my team.”

He added her death was “completely avoidable”.

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