The death of a woman who was crushed when window frames weighing over half a tonne fell on top of her could have been avoided, a court has heard.
The lawyer Amanda Telfer, 43, died when three large, unglazed frames fell and hit her as she walked past a construction site in the busy Hanover Square in Mayfair at 11.30am on August 30, 2012.
The window frames had been left leaning against a wall after being delivered the day before. They were unprotected and unrestrained, and weighed a total of 1,444lb (655kg), a jury at the Old Bailey was told yesterday, February 6.
Four people and three companies deny a total of 13 charges over the death of Ms Telfer, including a man from Cobham and a company based in Richmond.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC said the frames had been delivered even though the site was not ready to install them, and argued it was “obvious to anyone” that the heavy frames carried a “clear and serious risk of death” to those walking past.
He added that members of the public had reported seeing the frames moving in the wind, and were concerned about them falling.
Mr Atkinson said: “There were a series of obvious and, in many cases, straightforward steps that could have been taken to avoid that risk, ranging from cancellation, delay, refusal of delivery on the one hand, to the storage, the use of straps and barriers.
"None were taken by any of the defendants and Amanda Telfer died as a result."
The court also heard that another member of the public had almost been hit in a “near miss” just days before the death of Ms Telfer, when a piece of plywood hoarding fell from the building site and almost collided with him as he made his way home.
Mr Atkinson said this raised questions over health and safety at the site, and told the jury they must consider whether the defendants were aware this had happened and if this should have caused them to reassess “the sufficiency of the measures being taken to segregate the public from the construction site.”
Damian Lakin-Hall, 50, of Portsmouth Road, Cobham, Claire Gordon, 36, of Ashby Crescent, Leeds, and 64-year-old Kelvin Adsett - also known as Kelvin Schultz - from New Road, Slough, deny manslaughter and health and safety breaches.
Steven Rogers, 62, of Sheering Mill Lane in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, has pleaded not guilty to a single charge of failure to take reasonable care for safety while at work as an employee of Westgreen Construction Limited.
Westgreen Construction, of Richmond, IS Europe, of Slough, and Drawn Metal Ltd, of Leeds, also deny health and safety charges.
The trial continues