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Alfie Perrin manslaughter trial: supervisor was ‘indifferent’ to 16-year-old’s safety

PUBLISHED: 17:43 20 March 2015 | UPDATED: 17:43 20 March 2015

Alfie Perrin died on November 14 2012 when he fell from scaffolding in Camden Road, Wanstead

Alfie Perrin died on November 14 2012 when he fell from scaffolding in Camden Road, Wanstead

PA Archive/Press Association Images

A court heard today how a building site supervisor’s “complete indifference” to a 16 year old apprentice’s “well being” may have caused him to fatally fall on a building site.

Alfie Perrin, a carpenter apprentice, slipped from scaffolding at Camden Road, Wanstead, through a gap 72cm wide to his death two stories high into the street below in November 2012.

The on-duty supervisor Andrew Voy, 35, accused of manslaughter by gross negligence, was visiting the site for only the second time in six weeks since work had begun.

Speaking at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Oliver Glasgow, prosecuting, said: “Immediately before the fall Alfie Perrin had been tasked with clearing building waste from the site.

“He had been throwing rubbish into a skip in front of the house.

“There was a gap in between the protective edge rail which was intended to allow space for a ladder to be installed.”

He told the court how a bar should have been in place to stop accidents, such as falls, from happening.

He added: “But that bar had been removed so when Alfie Perrin was there the gap was entirely open.

“He had thrown one bag into this skip but when he had thrown the second bag he lost his balance and fell two stories through the gap.”

Alfie, weighing just eight and half stone, suffered fatal brain injuries from the accident.

Mr Glasgow added: “This is not a case of a simple mistake or carelessness.
“The defendant’s mistake and a complete indifference to Alfie Perrin’s well-being was so gross, we suggest a crime. “There was nothing to stop Alfie Perrin falling off the roof that day, in fact there was nothing to stop anyone of the employees falling off the roof that day.”

Onlooker Sarah Hipperson, also of Camden Road, said she was so concerned about Alfie Perrin’s safety before he fell she “could not watch”, Mr Glasgow said.

The jury of eight men and four women also heard evidence from Eileen Gascoigne, a health and safety inspector who visited the site just hours after Alfie’s fall.

Mr Glasgow asked her if she attempted to climb onto the front platform of the scaffolding where Alfie had fallen.

In response, she said: “No, because it was not safe to do so.”

Mr Voy denies manslaughter.

The hearing continues.


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