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Builder jailed over death of lawyer crushed by heavy window frames

A stack of large unglazed frames collapsed on Amanda Telfer as she walked past a building site in Mayfair.

A construction boss has been jailed for a year while his firm was fined just £250 over the “wholly needless” death of a lawyer crushed by half-tonne windows.

Amanda Telfer, 43, was killed when the stack of large unglazed frames collapsed on her as she walked past a building site in Mayfair’s Hanover Square.

Members of the public rushed to help, but Ms Telfer could not be saved and she was pronounced dead at the scene just before noon on August 30 2012.

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A jury found supervisor at IS Europe Limited, Kelvin Adsett, 64, of Slough, Berkshire, guilty of manslaughter and breaching health and safety.

Sentencing him, Judge Peter Rook QC told him: “Your actions contributed to the wholly needless and untimely death of Amanda Telfer.” The judge said he had shown “reckless disregard” for what was a life-threatening situation.

Adestt’s firm IS Europe Limited, of Slough, was found guilty at the Old Bailey of two health and safety breaches. 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.”

Westgreen Construction Limited site manager Damian Lakin-Hall, 50, of Cobham, Surrey, was sentenced to six months suspended for two years for failing to take reasonable care of safety whilst at work. Costs of £100,000 will be split between the three defendants, with insurance covering the firm’s share as it has only £250 in the bank.

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

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They said: “If construction companies and the people who work for them are not held to account for such high levels of negligence and incompetence, then none of us is safe walking the streets next to construction sites.

“The Health and Safety training being given is totally inadequate, if risk of death to passers-by is ignored.”

Mr Telfer said they were not out for “retribution” but for “accountability” for their daughter’s death.

His wife said the £250 fine was “ludicrous” but added: “If they haven’t got the money, they haven’t got the money.”

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