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Construction Company Fined for Corporate Manslaughter

A London based construction company has been fined over half a million pounds after two men fell to their deaths into a building site operated by the company.

The building site, situated in the NW1 area of London, was the responsibility of Monavon Construction and work was almost completed at the time of the incident. Part of the site bordered a public street, Netley Street, and so plywood hoardings had been put in place to block access to the public, covering the pavement.

On 14 October 2013, work began in order to change to the hoardings so that the pavement could be restored. By 18 October, this work had been completed and the hoardings were left attached to a wall. Behind the wall, which measured between 130mm to 280mm in height, was a drop of around 12ft into a basement.

Incident

In the early hours of 19 October 2013, two men, Gavin Brewer and Stuart Meads, were walking along Netley Street when they began to argue with each other. A scuffle ensued and as the men passed the building site, contact was made with the wooden hoardings and they gave way. Both Mr Brewer and Mr Meads fell into the basement area and were pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigation

Following the incident, an investigation was launched by both the Metropolitan Police and the Health and Safety Executive. It was found that the hoardings at the site had been erected in such a way that only ‘negligible force’ was needed in order for them to give way.

Sentencing

After pleading guilty to the corporate manslaughter of Gavin Brewer, 32, and Stuart Meads, 34, at the Old Bailey on 9 May 2016, Monavon Construction was fined £250,000 for the death of each man.

The company was also fined £50,000 for health and safety breaches and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £23,653.

Source: Metropolitan Police

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