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January 28, 2014

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Maintenance worker on trial for manslaughter by gross negligence


A two-year-old girl fell to her death from an apartment block in Sheffield city centre after a maintenance worker failed to replace a glass panel that had been removed from a barrier, a jury has been told.
Sheffield Crown Court heard that Ryaheen Banimuslem had been playing in an outdoor garden area on the fourth floor of the block with her mother and others when she strayed along the walkway.
Bryan Cox QC, prosecuting, said that at the end of the walkway there was a gap in the barrier because a glass panel had been removed by maintenance worker Robert Warner.
Mr Cox said: “She made her way along the walkway to the point where the panel had been removed. She passed through the gap in the barrier and fell to her death. There was nothing to prevent her from walking or running off the end of the walkway, as she plainly did.
“This accident was caused by the defendant’s negligent conduct. In essence, the prosecution contend that he removed the barrier from the walkway and failed to replace it. He did nothing to prevent access to the walkway, thereby creating a very dangerous situation. He did nothing to warn of the obvious dangers.”
Mr Cox said that Mr Warner had removed the panel some days before the tragedy. He said he did this to replace another panel that had been smashed in a more prominent position on the barrier. 
Robert Warner, of Shiregreen, Sheffield, denies a single charge of manslaughter by gross negligence. 
Mr Cox told the jury that Mr Warner “stood to gain financially” by replacing one panel with another. Mr Cox said this was because the defendant submitted an invoice to Allsop Residential Investment Management — the firm that managed the building — claiming he had bought a glass panel.
The jury heard that Ryaheen died almost instantly from her injuries when she fell on 27 June 2012. 
The trial, which is expected to last about three weeks, continues.
As this case is ongoing we won’t be accepting comments on this story.

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