No manslaughter charge over 'wind tunnel' death

Jim Dunton

CPS advises against prosecuting architect for Leeds tower fatality

Architect Aedas will not face corporate manslaughter charges over the death of a man near its Bridgewater Place scheme in Leeds, Building’s sister title Building Design has reported.

Edward Slaney was crushed by a lorry that overturned last year in high winds believed to have been exacerbated by a wind tunnel effect created by the 32-storey building.

An inquest into Slaney’s death was halted by coroner Melanie Williamson in February, with the case passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to decide whether the developer, architect or council should be charged with corporate manslaughter.

This week a CPS spokesman told Building Design that it had advised against bringing any charges.

“The CPS has considered the papers sent by the coroner and has advised the police and coroner on the relevant law in this matter,” he said.

“The decision on whether or not to re-open an investigation is a matter for the police.”

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police confirmed no action would be taken.

Strong winds have been reported around Bridgewater Place since it opened in 2007 and the inquest into Slaney’s death heard that the building had created a wind tunnel effect in the surrounding streets.

At one stage Aedas was reported to be considering installing “fins” at the building to mitigate its effects.

Aedas and the building’s developer Landmark St James declined to comment.

  

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