Son says dad can finally rest in peace after verdict on his death

Scott Harrower, 42, who died in Manchester following a fall on building site in January 2014
Scott Harrower, 42, who died in Manchester following a fall on building site in January 2014

The family of a dead roofer have been waiting two years to find the reason for the workplace fall which killed him.

Father-of-two Scott Harrower, from Maddiston, died of his injuries on January 22, 2014, after falling 25 feet from the roof of a building he had been working on in Stockport the day before.

Mr Harrower’s fall happened just hours after another worker, also from the Falkirk area, suffered life changing injuries including fractures to the spine, pelvis, leg and arm after falling from the same roof.

Last year Mr Harrower’s son Justin (21) said the family hoped the court case would bring a sense of closure over their loved one’s untimely death.

This week he told The Falkirk Herald that justice had finally been done.

Building firm boss Allan Thomson (52), who denied the charge against him, was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter following a two-week trial at Manchester Crown Court. Thomson, of Woodburn Crescent, Falkirk, was released on bail and faces sentence at the court on April 8.

Michael Smith (52), boss of Rochdale’s C Smith and Sons, was found guilty of failing to ensure the safety of persons not in his employment and failing to ensure work was planned regulated and monitored in a way which ensures it is carried out without risks to safety. He also faces sentence on April 8.

Justin said: “I wasn’t at the trial, but mum was and what was said and what happened down there has given us a lot of closure. We’ve been waiting for a long time for some kind of decision on this.

“We weren’t expecting them to both be found guilty so this has made us feel a lot happier. It’s like we finally have justice for my dad and he can finally rest in peace.

“They went through everything in detail, all the health and safety laws. During the trial they said the harnesses my dad and the workers were given were actually made in the 1970s.

“It just showed how they put money before the welfare of my dad and the other workers. I think they should get the jail – that would probably be the right decision in my opinion with what has happened, but it’s not my decision to make at the end of the day.”

During the trial the court heard C Smith and Sons won the contract to demolish the building and, as the principal contractor, drew up health and safety documents.

However, just days before the work was due to commence, Thomson’s firm, Building and Dismantling Contractors Ltd, was instead sub-contracted to dismantle the building and sell on the parts.

Mr Thomson hired Mr Harrower and three other men, who travelled from Falkirk to Stockport to do the work.

At the start of the trial prosecutor Andrew Thomas QC said he would prove to the court the safety equipment provided to Mr Harrower and his colleagues was “worse than useless” and the incident was a “clear case of an employer putting profit before safety”.

Two years ago Justin, who did not know his dad was an organ donor, found out his death gave the chance of life to five people, including a small baby.

At the time The Falkirk Herald reported Mr Harrower had contacted his sister Carla Cochran to tell her about a near miss he had at the site.

She said: “Scott sounded brand new when I talked to him on the Monday night, even when he told me about a scare he’d just had on the site with his workmates having to pull him back up onto the roof.”