Prison sentence after scaffolder dies from 30ft fall

Scaffolder Jon Currie
Scaffolder Jon Currie who tragically lost his life in July 2017.

A scaffolding company boss has been jailed after a scaffolder fell 30ft to his death while dismantling a temporary roof in Kensington.

Southwark crown court heard how the boss of G&L Scaffolding and Roofing, Kevin Leathers, 41 had ignored previous safety warnings which lead to the death of scaffolder Jon Currie, 36.

An experienced scaffolder

The experienced scaffolder lost his footing while dismantling a temporary roof of corrugated sheets. Mr Currie was not wearing a safety harness and suffered “catastrophic brain damage” in the fall in July 2017.

Mr Leathers pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of his employees and was jailed on Monday for eight months, according to the Evening Standard.

He had been warned previously by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in April 2017. His employees including Mr Currie had been spotted working dangerously in Kensington without safety harnesses.

The court heard Mr Leathers had been sent a letter reminding him of strict health and safety requirements.

Prosecutor Simon Denison QC said: “This was a clear warning that practices were unsafe. It is obvious that being up on a temporary roof and without safety equipment is highly dangerous.”

Its was also found that no risk assessment had been carried out and Mr Currie was not qualified for the job he was doing on the day he died.

Mr Denison added: “Mr Leathers failed to exercise his duty of care and as a result, Jon Currie died while working for him. Mr Leathers intentionally breached, or flagrantly ignored, the law.”

Scaffolder Jon Currie with partner Maxine Carter
Scaffolder Jon Currie with partner Maxine Carter. Credit: Evening Standard

After sentencing, Mr Currie’s partner Maxine Carter said: “Jon was one in a million. He was a loving man who doted on his family and worked really hard to ensure we were all provided for. 

“Jon’s loss has been a huge blow to our family and he provided our only income. His death has caused us to have to move out of our home and move into several temporary accommodations.

“We miss him terribly and are pleased there has finally been some justice.”

Mr Currie was working on an extension to a double-storey basement when he died.

Judge Joanna Korner QC said: “After the letter in April, Leathers could not have been warned in clearer terms about the dangers of the activities undertaken. 

“He failed to take appropriate steps. If death results from such failures you must expect to receive an immediate prison sentence.”