Engineering firm fined £600k after boy, 7, was killed in plastic pipe while playing on building site

Engineering firm is fined £600,000 after boy, 7, was killed in a plastic pipe while playing on ‘death trap’ building site which was a ‘magnet’ for children

An engineering firm has been fined £600,000 after a seven-year-old boy was killed playing on a ‘death trap’ building site which was a ‘magnet’ for children. 

Howard Civil Engineering admitted two health and safety breaches after the body of Conley Thompson was found wedged inside a plastic tube on the site in Barnsley in 2015. 

Fencing around the site was ‘wholly inadequate’, a judge said at Sheffield Crown Court.  

Fining the firm £600,000, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC said the failures had exposed members of the public to harm.

Howard Civil Engineering admitted two health and safety breaches after the body of Conley Thompson (pictured) was found wedged inside a plastic tube on the site in Barnsley in 2015

Fencing around the site was 'wholly inadequate', a judge said at Sheffield Crown Court. Pictured: Forensic officers carry out work at the building site in Barnsley

Fencing around the site was ‘wholly inadequate’, a judge said at Sheffield Crown Court. Pictured: Forensic officers carry out work at the building site in Barnsley

Fining the firm £600,000, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC said the failures had exposed members of the public to harm. Pictured: Forensic officers investigate the scene

Fining the firm £600,000, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC said the failures had exposed members of the public to harm. Pictured: Forensic officers investigate the scene 

‘The site was obviously a death trap in so many respects, most building sites are,’ he added.

‘That is why it is necessary to keep people out of such places.’

Conley was reported missing having failed to return home after going out playing with friends on 26 July, 2015, the court heard.

He was found dead the following day on the Church View site in Worsbrough, where more than a dozen homes were being built.

The court heard Conley had entered into the 9inch-wide (23cm) pipe feet first and become stuck.

Prosecutor Andrew McGee argued there were a range of other risks on the site with no ‘effective boundary preventing people getting in’.

Conley (pictured) was reported missing having failed to return home after going out playing with friends on 26 July, 2015, the court heard

Conley (pictured) was reported missing having failed to return home after going out playing with friends on 26 July, 2015, the court heard

The area was littered with open foundations, deep drops, pipes and various machinery, all of which were a ‘source of risk’, he added.

Judge Richardson said the site was a ‘magnet’ for children who would see it as a ‘wonderful adventure playground [but] it was, of course, nothing of the kind’.

‘A number of members of the public were exposed to harm,’ he added.

‘This was a good company that made a bad mistake.’

Conley (pictured with his mother Paula) was found dead the following day on the Church View site in Worsbrough, where more than a dozen homes were being built

Conley (pictured with his mother Paula) was found dead the following day on the Church View site in Worsbrough, where more than a dozen homes were being built

At a previous hearing, James Maxwell-Scott said managers at the firm were not aware children had been on the site before the boy’s death.

Howard Civil Engineering was also ordered to pay costs of almost £43,000.

A sign on the construction site’s perimeter fence said the premises are protected by firm Security Guards UK using both manned security and CCTV, but a manager at the firm said the company left the site earlier this month.

Peter Taylor, who said he was a manager at Security Guards UK, said the firm had reported that children were playing on the site.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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