Property giant fined £1.3m after ‘serious failings’ led to death of passer-by, 29

A property management company that failed to inspect, maintain or even notice insecure structures on the roof of a Wolverhampton shopping centre has been fined £1.3m after a tank cover broke free in high winds, striking and killing a young university worker.

Tahnie Martin, 29, was killed on 23 February 2017 while walking past Wolverhampton’s Mander Centre, on Dudley Street.  

The wooden tank cover, which had been secured to the brick tank casing by “rotten and weather-damaged” clasps, fell six storeys from the roof, causing fatal head injuries.

A University of Wolverhampton colleague who was with Martin at the time, Raman Sarpal, was also knocked to the ground by the panel, and suffered a serious injury to her leg. 

Cushman and Wakefield Debenham Tie Leung, which had been the managing agent for the Mander Centre since 2012, was this week fined £1.3m plus £375,000 in costs at a sentencing hearing at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

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