Bungling builders jailed after curry house collapse

Grant Prior 9 years ago

Two Sheffield brothers have been jailed for safety failures after a building collapse left three people injured.

Naveed and Rizwan Hussain were prosecuted by the HSE at Sheffield Crown Court following the collapse of a three-storey former curry house on 23 March 2013.

Two residents and a builder suffered minor injuries and the immediate area had to be evacuated when the front of the property and the flats on the two upper floors caved in.

HSE told the court it was ‘remarkable’ that no one had been killed given the extent of the collapse.

The property, formerly Butler’s Balti House, was so dangerous after the incident it had to be demolished by Sheffield Council.

The court heard the two ‘incompetent’ brothers had destabilised the structure of the building while refurbishing the basement.

HSE’s investigation found the central wall between 192 and 194 Brook Hill had collapsed due to the Hussains’ poorly-planned and badly-managed refurbishment project.

The construction work by the Hussains involved lowering the floor in the basement and removing a number of internal walls.

While that was underway, the central wall was undermined, causing it to collapse. In turn, the floors of the flats above and the front wall caved in, injuring three people.

HSE said the Hussain brothers were not competent to carry out the work and were responsible for a number of safety failings – crucially they had no controls in place to support the building while it was being modified.

The court heard Naveed Hussain had been the recipient of enforcement notices from HSE on a previous building job relating to failures to plan the work properly.

Rizwan Hussain, 39, of Rutland Road, Sheffield, was given a 12 month custodial sentence and a fine of £42,000 with £40,000 in costs after pleading guilty to safety breaches.

Naveed Hussain, 33, Pitsmoor Road, Sheffield, was given a 12 month custodial sentence and fined £40,000 with £60,000 to pay in costs after admitting safety breaches.

After the hearing, HSE principal construction inspector Dave Redman said: “All three people injured in this avoidable incident were fortunate not to have been killed.

“One was saved by a table that had fallen across his body and shielded him from falling debris.

“But their narrow escapes owed more to luck than judgement on the part of the defendants, Rizwan and Naveed Hussain. Both acted incompetently in dealing with the project and fell woefully below acceptable standards.

“When carrying out major building alterations it is imperative that skilled structural engineers are employed to advise on the temporary supports needed.

“It is equally important that competent contractors are then used to ensure that those supports are correctly used for the duration of the work.

“The risks associated with this type of project are well-known in the construction industry and they are significant.

“Where competent people are not used and inadequate controls are employed there is always a risk of a catastrophic collapse and multiple fatalities.”

His Honour Judge Murphy, sentencing, remarked: “”It was little short of a miracle that more people were not seriously injured or killed. This was a very serious incident caused by your arrogance and greed.

“A statement needs to be made to people undertaking such projects in relation to the importance of health and safety. The public would be appalled at anything less than a custodial sentence.”

Latest news

Geoffrey Osborne supply chain hit for £26m

More than 500 suppliers and subcontractors left holding unpaid bills
2 days ago

Taylor Wimpey chief honoured with CBE

Jennie Daly recognised in King's Birthday honours
1 day ago

SME contractors agree 4% pay rise for site workers

Workers will also get an extra day of holiday
2 days ago

Race for £800m South West Wales framework

Up to 16 firms face fight to renew spots on regional contractors framework
42 mins ago

Labour to mothball £320m A27 job to fix potholes

Manifesto confirms Arundel Bypass canned as "poor value for money"
3 days ago

Lendlease’s £1.9bn Smithfield Birmingham scheme approved

Initial work to start later this year despite questions over Lendlease's degree of involvement
3 days ago

Crest Nicholson rejects £650m Bellway bid

Second Bellway approach rebuffed
3 days ago

Hill submits £800m East London estate rebuild plan

Over 1,900 homes to be built in five phase at Teviot Estate in Poplar
3 days ago

Plan approved for 8,500-seat Edinburgh indoor arena

Construction expected to start next year once a contractor is appointed
3 days ago

Statom starts on £25m Bristol Airport precast car park

Major work package on transport upgrade being overseen by Griffiths Farrans JV
3 days ago

Build problems plunge Crest Nicholson to a £31m loss

House builder unearths more defects on completed sites
4 days ago

Rebooted Amey lifts contract win rate to 1 in 3 bids

Amey chief says firm exceeded expectations in first year under new owners
4 days ago

BAM Nuttall fined £2.3m after worker drowned

Court hears how series of safety failures led to tragedy
4 days ago

OCU buys Scottish civils contractor RJ McLeod

Deal takes multi-utility infrastructure specialist revenue to over £800m
5 days ago

£220m plan to restore secret wartime tunnels approved

Tunnels under High Holborn to become cultural exhibition space
4 days ago

Galliford Try wins £69m Scottish school job

Deal sealed on Paisley Grammar School project in Renfrewshire
4 days ago

Balfour wins design for £690m Skye transmission job

Main work contract for 137km power line to be awarded later this year
5 days ago

Student and resi developer Fortis goes under

Cheshire based developer follows construction arm into liquidation
5 days ago

Construction output falls for third month running

Heavy rain and strong winds blamed for sharp fall in activity in April
5 days ago

Plan in for Leeds 27-storey block of flats

390 flats planned at former Morgan Sindall office site
5 days ago

Firms readied for £1.5bn Parliament estate upkeep deal

Invitation to tender due to go out next month
5 days ago

Amey switches kit supplier

Deal with HSS was worth £24.5m a year to rental specialist
5 days ago

Track workers scatter to avoid runaway rail trolley

Track trolley careers 1km towards work site
5 days ago

Direct delivery model pays off as Murphy profit soars to £67m

Group operating margin jumps from 3% to 5% in record year
6 days ago

Ex-Galliard boss to lead Battersea next building phase

Don O’Sullivan joins as plans advance to start phase 3C of power station redevelopment
6 days ago

£100m Digbeth 33-storey flats job out to bid

483 flats will be delivered for Clarion housing association
6 days ago

Van Elle fined £233,000 after piling rig kills driver

Court hears how tragedy was caused by poorly maintained plant
6 days ago

Renew buys utilities contractor Excalon

Infrastructure giant expand into electricity transmission market with £26m deal
6 days ago

Planning for new homes plunges to record low

Home builders call for urgent action from incoming government
6 days ago

JTRE starts £400m 21-floor London tower scheme

Office block and 64 affordable homes to be built at 220 Blackfriars Road site
7 days ago

Contractor services