Civil case victory for widow of father killed on St Albans building site

Lianne, Gareth and son Casey Jones

Lianne, Gareth and son Casey Jones - Credit: Archant

The widow of a young father who was crushed to death on a St Albans building site has won her civil case against the company who employed him.

Gareth Jones, 28, who was married with a young son, was killed instantly in January 2013 when a wall collapsed on him at the site in Mile House Lane.

His widow Lianne Jones, 35, was awarded undisclosed damages in the civil action against Linley Developnents, the firm for whom her husband was working when the accident happened.

Gareth was working on a new garden store room on the St Albans site when he was killed by the unstable wall which was held up only by soil on the garden side and was not underpinned.

Linley Developments pleaded guilty in September last year to corporate manslaughter and two directors admitted health and safety breaches.

Subsequently a Health and Safety Executive investigation found the company’s planning had been ‘woefully inadequate’ and it was fined £200,000.

Liane, who lives in Welwyn Garden City, said this week that she had never received an apology or expression of remorse from the firm and the house on which her husband had been working when he died was later put up for an award.

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She said: “I want to make sure that building companies take the care of their workers seriously and ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

“I feel that the moment I told my son that his daddy wasn’t coming home he lost his innocence. It was heartbreaking to see that. As he gets older it’s more and more apparent that other people have dads and he doesn’t. He is always mentioning his dad and comparing himself to others who have fathers.

She added: “I’ve not told him much of what happened but he gets very angry and is frightened of death. He is way beyond his years when it comes to safety.”

Nick Godwin, from Slater and Gordon who represented Lianne in the civil action, said: “Gareth’s death was a completely unnecessary tragedy which could so easily have been avoided.”