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25.7.09 Camden Council Charged over Death of Toddler


Council charged over wall that killed boy, 2
22 July 2009
CAMDEN Council is being charged over the death of a two-year-old boy crushed to death by a wall.

Saurav Ghai died after a 6ft 6ins brick panel fell on him as he walked down Southampton Road, Gospel Oak.

Camden Council is due to appear at City of London Magistrates' Court on September 2 charged with breaching section three of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The fatal incident happened on January 18, 2007 - as high-speed winds ripped through the borough. Saurav was walking past the Wendling Estate with his nanny when part of its brick wall fell.

An inquest at St Pancras Coroner's Court in November 2007 raised issues about the way the collapsed panel was attached to the rest of the wall.

Saurav's city banker father Vinay, performance analyst mother Desiree, and older brother, of Parkhill Walk, Gospel Oak, were devastated after the incident. Together with friends, relatives and the Mayfair company BlueBay Asset Management, they raised £10,000 for the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead - where Saurav died.

A Camden Council spokeswoman said: "The Health and Safety Executive have commenced a prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work Act related to the tragic death of Saurav Ghai. The case has been adjourned until September because the Health and Safety Executive has not yet provided full details of the proposed action against the council. Once we have received these details we will consider them."

This is not the first time the HSE has taken Camden Council to court.

The council was also charged over the death of 24-year-old Ralph Kennedy, a scaffolder who was electrocuted when he touched a light on the council's Mayford Estate off Oakley Square, Somers Town, on September 15, 2006.

And at the Old Bailey in March, Camden was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £16,445 in costs after pleading guilty to failing to ensure that sub-contracted staff were not exposed to risk, in contravention of the Health and Safety At Work Act.