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Roof collapsed after go-ahead given for demolition of walls.

POOR advice from a construction consultancy firm led to a roof collapsing at a town centre property under renovation it was claimed yesterday.

Robert E Fry and Associates, based in Wigan, admitted two counts of failing to assess the dangers after authorising the demolition of four internal walls at the building in High Street, Holywell. Flint Magistrates' Court heard the roof caved in a few days later, in the early hours of January 25, 2001. The company's managing director, Robert Fry, pleaded not guilty to two separate but similar charges against him. Health and Safety inspectors allege it was on Fry's authorisation that builders knocked down the four first floor walls at the property resulting in the roof collapsing.

Giving evidence Health and Safety Executive inspector Hywel Williams said: ``The inquiry tracked back to the advice given to the contractors to knock down the internal walls and that was from Mr Fry.'' Matthew Dunford, prosecuting, said REFA had been employed to carry out a full structural survey.

``Work progressed stripping out the first floor but builders became concerned about the internal walls,'' Mr Dunford said. Mr Dunford said a fax was sent to graduate construction engineer Lesley Dean, who was working for the company at the time, asking if it was okay to knock the walls down.

Ms Dean had asked Fry if it was okay and he gave the go-ahead. Ms Dean then faxed back to say the builders could knock down the walls, said Mr Dunford. The case continues.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 14, 2003
Words:251
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