Two company directors have been jailed following a wall collapse in Birmingham which killed five workers.

Wayne Anthony Hawkeswood and Graham John Woodhouse, have both been given prison sentences after the incident in Birmingham in July 2016.

They were found guilty of multiple counts after a five-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court in November last year, and were jailed for nine months each earlier this month.

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Ousmane Kaba Diaby, Saibo Sumbundu Sillah, Bangally Tunkara Dukuray, Almamo Kinteh Jammeh, and Mahamadou Jagana Jagana were agency workers working at the site occupied by Hawkeswood Metal Recycling Ltd and Shredmet Ltd (now trading as Ensco 10101 Ltd), in the Nechells area of Birmingham.

All five men died when a 45-tonne wall collapsed and fell on them.

Ousmane Kaba Diaby, Saibo Sumbundu Sillah, Bangally Tunkara Dukuray, Almamo Kinteh Jammeh and Mahamadou Jagana Jagana were all killed when a 45-tonne wall collapsed on them.

The wall was 12-feet high and made up of 30 concrete blocks.

Each block was the size of a domestic fridge and weighed as much as a family car.

The men were part of a group of eight agency workers brought to the site on July 7, 2016.

The incident happened at around 8am that morning as the men were clearing the area.

The wall collapsed and fell onto the men, killing all five instantly.

Another man suffered severe leg injuries.

The eighth man had left the area to go to fetch some brooms needed in the clear-up.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found the wall had been taken down and rebuilt and that the bay the men were working with was full of 263 tonnes of scrap metal briquettes, which had a combined weight of six fully loaded HGVs.

Structural engineers carried out an assessment after the incident, which resulted in a reduction in wall heights and bays being clearly marked with maximum fill lines.

Trial and prison

Both directors were jailed after being found guilty of four charges each – failing to discharge the duty to which they were subject by virtue of section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Hawkeswood Metal Recycling Limited and Ensco 10101 Limited (known at the time as Shredmet) were also found guilty of the two identical counts bringing the total number of convictions to 12.

Hawkeswood Metal Recycling was fined £1 million while Ensco 10101 Limited was ordered to pay £600,000.

The judge also ordered £775,000 to be paid in prosecution costs.

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Speaking after the sentencing, HSE Principal Inspector Amy Kalay said: “I hope the families and friends of the men who died find some comfort in today’s sentencing.

“The investigation into this incident was long and complex. Five men lost their lives in the most appalling of circumstances. Their deaths should not have happened. They went to work to earn a wage; that cost them their lives.

“These five men were placed into a working environment that was fundamentally unsafe. The failings of the companies and individuals brought to justice today were responsible for this tragedy.

“Health and safety regulations save lives. We will always take action against those who fail to protect their workers.”

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