North East Wales

Meg Burgess: Mother's horror at daughter's wall death

The mother of a three-year-old girl crushed to death by a collapsing wall has spoken of her last moments.

Lindsay Burgess was walking home from the shops with Meg and baby son Wilson in Meliden, Denbighshire, in July 2008.

Mrs Burgess was a few steps ahead of Meg and beckoned her daughter. She said: "It just all fell in one go."

Builder George Collier, of Kinmel Bay, Conwy, was jailed for two years after being convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Image caption Meg was returning from the shops with her mother when the wall collapsed

Mrs Burgess and her husband Pete have since campaigned for improvements in the construction industry to prevent more lives being put at risk.

They have launched Meg's Campaign on Facebook which is calling for builders to be licensed to carry out work.

"Ultimately our aim is to change the law so this doesn't happen again," said Mrs Burgess.

She was looking forward to an afternoon of baking cakes with her daughter on the day of the tragedy.

She described how Meg was delighted at the prospect of calling at the shops to buy baking material.

Mrs Burgess said: "We walked and we talked. Periodically, in this process of walking, I would tell her how beautiful she was.

"We would talk about the flowers, and she would sniff the flowers.

"Sometimes she would ask me to hold her hand on that journey. At other times she would was obsessed with the glitter pack that she'd bought for herself."

Meg noticed the building work on the way home and found the sight intimidating, said Mrs Burgess, as it meant getting mud on her shoes.

Earlier this month Mold Crown Court heard how Collier, 49, had been building a wall which was 22m (72ft) long and nearly 1.6m (5ft 3in) high that had been backfilled with 26 tonnes of rubble and block.

The wall was improperly anchored and no measures had been taken to protect pedestrians walking along the adjacent pavement, the court heard. It fell in one piece.

Mrs Burgess said she found herself at the end of the wall, ahead of Meg.

She said: "When we reached the end of the wall, I turned and beckoned for her to come.

"I watched how beautiful she was, I was always doing that. Everyone that knew me knew how mesmerised I was by her.

Image caption George Collier (right) denied being responsible for Meg's death

"And it just all fell in one go. It was the most horrific thing I've ever seen."

She said she screamed and tried to pull the rubble away with her hands and tried to pull her out.

Meg was declared dead 10 minutes after arriving at Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan.

Mrs Burgess said she still dreamed of that moment.

She said: "I can feel the wall pass by my face. It literally stopped by my feet.

"I can remember my own hair blowing when the wall came past my face. The impact - I could feel it rushing past me.

"I never think to myself 'I nearly died'. I think to myself, 'I've lost my daughter'."

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