Construction boss jailed over 'wholly needless' death of woman crushed by half-tonne windows

A construction boss has been jailed for a year over the death of a woman who was crushed when window frames weighing half a tonne fell on top of her in central London.

Kelvin Adsett, 64, was sentenced at the Old Bailey for gross negligence over the "wholly needless" death of lawyer Amanda Telfer in 2012.

Site manager Damian Lakin-Hall, 50, was sentenced to six months - suspended for two years - for failing to take reasonable care of safety whilst at work.

Ms Telfer was killed when a stack of large unglazed frames collapsed on her as she walked past a building site in Mayfair.

The six-week trial heard the 43-year-old's death could have been prevented if a series of obvious and straightforward steps had been taken.

The frames, which together weighed 1,444lb (655kg), had been left leaning against a wall overnight and had raised public concern after being seen moving in the wind.

The court head another member of the public had almost been hit in a "near-miss" at the site just days before the fatal accident.

Members of the public rushed to help Ms Telfer after the windows fell but her death was confirmed at the scene just before noon on August 30, 2012.

In a victim impact statement, her father Barry Telfer said he and his wife Ann had seen the "bright, lovely" Ms Telfer on the morning of the tragedy.

"She was cheerful, making plans and looking forward. An hour later she was dead," he said.

In a separate statement, her parents said: "Her future was taken from her when she was crushed to death by half tonne window frames which took two seconds to fall on her.

The windows fell in Hanover Square in Mayfair in 2012. Credit: PA

"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."

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

Sentencing him to 12 months in prison, 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.

The court heard Adsett's life had been "destroyed" as the result of "an aberration of carelessness" and his "dormant" firm's finances amounted to only £250.

Judge Rook said: "There would have been a fine of £100,000. However, given ISE's limited assets, the only fine I can order is £250."

The costs of £100,000 will be split between Adsett, IS Europe and Westgreen Construction Limited site manager Lakin-Hall.

Insurance will cover the firm's share.

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