Skip to main content

Linley Developments fined £200,000

This case involved the death of 28-year-old bricklayer who was fatally injured when an unstable retaining wall collapsed at a construction site in St…

This case involved the death of 28-year-old bricklayer, Gareth Jones, who was fatally injured when an unstable retaining wall collapsed at a construction site in St Albans. Only two days prior to the incident, the managing director of the principal contractor, Linley Developments, visited the site and discovered that the foundations for a store room would be higher than in an adjacent building. The workers were therefore instructed to dig the foundations lower, but without underpinning it.

The court found that no risk assessment or method statement was prepared for the excavation and that there was a failure to support the wall as the trench around it became lower. Linley Developments was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £25,000 after pleading guilty to the charge of corporate manslaughter on 7 September 2015.

The court also exercised its power under s10 Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, making a publicity order against the company.

The managing director and project manager were both given prison sentences of six months, suspended in each case for two years after both pleading guilty to breaching Regulations 28 and 31 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The MD was also fined £25,000 and the project manager £5,000. The court had considered disqualifying the MD but in the end chose not to do so.

The MD and project manager also faced charges of gross negligence manslaughter but these were withdrawn after their respective admissions of the charges brought under the CDM Regulations.