London

Camden Council fined over toddler's wall crush death

Saurav Ghai
Image caption Saurav Ghai, who was two, died during severe storms in London four years ago

A north London council has been ordered to pay £137,000 after a wall it owned collapsed and killed a toddler.

Saurav Ghai, two, was crushed as he and his childminder walked along a road in Gospel Oak, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Camden Council admitted two breaches of health and safety legislation. It was fined £72,000 and ordered to pay £65,000 prosecution costs.

The council had claimed it was a sub-contractor's duty to maintain the wall.

The wall collapsed in high winds during a storm in 2007.

Saurav suffered multiple injuries.

Judge Deborah Taylor said: "The most serious feature of this offence is that it was a significant cause to the death of little Saurav Ghai."

Judge Taylor said of his parents: "Their loss is clearly immeasurable."

'Terrible accident'

The court was told the wall in Southampton Road was too thin for its height.

The council changed an initial not guilty plea and admitted failing to discharge a health and safety duty contrary to two sections of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

A Camden Council spokesman said: "We are very sorry that the collapse of a wall belonging to Camden Council resulted in the death of Saurav Ghai.

"We will be giving further consideration to the ruling and its implications.

"Since this terrible accident in 2007 we have reviewed all of our procedures to ensure we are doing everything possible to keep people safe."

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