Wall designer charged on girl death
A man who designed a wall which collapsed and killed a three-year-old girl will be charged with gross negligence manslaughter, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said.
Meg Burgess was killed when a wall designed by George Collier and constructed by his company, Parcol Developments, collapsed on to a footpath in Ffordd Penrhwylfa, Prestatyn, North Wales, on July 26, 2008, said a CPS spokeswoman.
She said it had been decided it would not be in the public interest to charge the firm, of which Mr Collier was a director, with corporate manslaughter but the company should be charged with an offence under Section 3 of the Health and Safety Act at Work 1974.
Rosemary Ainslie, reviewing lawyer for the CPS special crime and counter terrorism division, said: "I have carefully reviewed all of the evidence gathered by North Wales Police and the Health and Safety Executive during their thorough investigation into the tragic death of Meg Burgess in July 2008.
"After considering reports from experts on construction standards and advice from counsel, I have decided that George Collier should be charged with gross negligence manslaughter for his role in designing and constructing the wall that collapsed."
She added: "I have also decided that Parcol Developments Limited, of which Mr Collier was a director, should be charged with an offence under Section 3 of the Health and Safety Act at Work 1974. Section 3 requires all employers to conduct their business in a way that ensures, so far as is reasonably practicable, that others are not exposed to risk.
"I did consider whether Parcol Developments should also be charged with corporate manslaughter. There is sufficient evidence to prosecute the company for this offence, but it would not be in the public interest to do so. The company had only two directors and Mr Collier was the only one directly involved in this incident. The charge against him is sufficiently serious to address the alleged offending."
She said Mr Collier has been summonsed to appear at Prestatyn Magistrates' Court on October 3.
Senior investigating officer Mark Abbott of North Wales Police said: "The family have been kept fully updated throughout the investigation and they have been informed of this decision.
"This remains a difficult time for the family and they request that their privacy is respected."