London

Amanda Telfer death: Construction boss jailed

Amanda Telfer Image copyright Handout
Image caption Amanda Telfer was killed in Mayfair by the falling windows

A construction boss has been jailed over the "wholly needless" death of a lawyer who was crushed by falling windows.

Amanda Telfer, 43, died when three frames fell on her as she walked past a building site in London in August 2012.

The frames had been left unprotected and unrestrained against a wall in Hanover Square, Mayfair.

Site supervisor Kelvin Adsett, who was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter, was jailed for a year.

Members of the public rushed to help Ms Telfer but she died at the scene.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The frames had been left unrestrained against a wall in Hanover Square, Mayfair

An Old Bailey jury previously found Adsett, a supervisor at IS Europe Limited, guilty of manslaughter and breaching health and safety regulations.

Judge Peter Rook QC told him: "Your actions contributed to the wholly needless and untimely death of Amanda Telfer."

He added Adsett, of Slough, Berkshire, had shown "reckless disregard" for what was a life-threatening situation.

In his defence, the 64-year-old's barrister said his life was "destroyed" as the result of "an aberration of carelessness".

Westgreen Construction Limited site manager Damian Lakin-Hall, 50, of Cobham, Surrey, was also sentenced to six months, suspended for two years, for failing to take reasonable care of safety while at work.

'Overwhelming shock'

Outside court, Ms Telfer's parents Barry and Ann said they hoped the case would have an effect on the construction industry's "casual approach" to health and safety.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Telfer said he was still coming to terms with the death of his daughter.

He said he and his wife last saw their daughter on the morning of her death, adding: "She was cheerful, making plans and looking forward.

"An hour later she was dead."

Ms Telfer was working as a freelance intellectual property and media lawyer for publishers including Random House at the time of her death.

Her father said: "Every parent who has lost a child through violent and sudden death will know the overwhelming shock and disbelief that is impossible to describe."

The court heard how the three frames, which weighed 1,444lb (655kg), had been left leaning against a wall after being delivered the previous day.

The prosecution said it was obvious they carried a "clear and serious risk of death" to anyone walking past.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Amanda Telfer was working as a freelance intellectual property and media lawyer for publishing houses including Random House

Another member of the public had almost been hit in a "near-miss" just days before the fatal accident, the court heard.

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC said there were straightforward steps which could have been taken to avoid the risk.

Adsett's firm IS Europe Limited was found guilty at the Old Bailey of two health and safety breaches.

The court heard the Slough-based company was now "dormant" and had just £250 in the bank.

The judge said: "There would have been a fine of £100,000.

"However, given ISE's limited assets, the only fine I can order is £250."

Graham Partridge, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "If Kelvin Adsett, Damian Lakin-Hall and IS Europe had complied with their legal responsibilities, Amanda Telfer would not have died."

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