news release



no embargo - 13 July 2009 ( Back to news releases)

FACK comment on the conviction of those responsible for the death 15 year old Adam Gosling

Builder Colin Holtom and contractor Darren Fowler were convicted at the Old Bailey of offences following the death of Adam Gosling. Holtom, aged 64 (dob 14/11/44) of Meadow Way, Latchingdon, near Chelmsford, Essex, today Tuesday 14 July, 2009, pleaded guilty tomanslaughter.  Fowler, aged 47 (dob 15/6/62) of Parkland Avenue, Upminster, had previously pleaded guilty to working while disqualified from being a company manager and failure to discharge a duty imposed by Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 - contrary to Sect 33 (1a) of the said Act. They will be sentenced on Monday 20 July, 2009.

Linzi Herberston, founder member of FACK whose own husband was killed by a negligent employer when he fell from incorrectly erected scaffolding in 1998 said today:  “This case is tragic but not an accident,  as those responsible should never have permitted anyone, let alone a 15 year old boy to work on a job like this, where death or serious injury were entirely foreseeable and therefore should have been prevented. FACK welcomes the conviction of the builder and contractor and awaits appropriately severe sentences for them both.  A case like this highlights the need for the government to urgently implement the recommendations of Rita Donaghy’s ‘One death too many’ Report which includes the need for clear positive legal duties on Directors, plus far more effective inspection and enforcement which should act as a major deterrent to other would- be criminal employers thinking of putting other young lives at risk.  Our thoughts are with the family at this terrible time.

Judith Allen whose son Steven was 23 when he was killed on a building site in 2007 adds: ”Adam was clearly a young lad prepared to work for a living, unlike many of those you see on street corners taking for granted government handouts, and it sickens me that the education system let him down and then labelled as non–academic he ended up vulnerable to the actions of an incompetent and dangerous employer.  He probably just wanted some spending money to be like his friends, but we need to make sure young people are educated on the risks employers can throw at you, when the only kind of work you can get is unskilled and dangerous.  The government must do much more to stop vulnerable young boys being so badly treated, put at risk and killed”. ”

Mick Murphy a member of FACK, whose son Lewis 18 was killed in a garage fire in 2005, took part in a British Safety Council campaign last year for more health and safety training in schools.  Mick made the case for young people to made aware of their rights to safe healthy workplaces, where to go for information and help if they are in danger, to join a trade union, and for the fact that some employers may well exploit them and put them at risk to be made clear to them.  Young people are very vulnerable not just because of their inexperience but because employers are not fulfilling their duties towards them so that for 16-24 year old workers one is injured every 12 minutes, one is seriously injured every 40 minutes,  and one is killed very 4 weeks.  See

Contacts  FACK 0161 636 7557

Government News Distribution Service Enquiries and News release

FACK aims [pdf

Rita Donaghy’s report, One Death is too Many: Inquiry into the Underlying Causes of Construction Fatal Accidents, was published on 9 July 2009 [pdf]

Andrew Herbertson  [pdf]

Steve Allen [pdf]

Lewis Murphy more

Hazards Magazine report on young workers 2young2die