Parents slam inquest into death of toddler crushed by falling lamp post

10:54 17 May 2012

Kate and Chris Hollis talk to the media outside the West London Coroners Court in Chelsea, following the inquest into death of their baby son Thomas, who was killed by a lamppost which fell on top of his pram. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 16, 2012. See PA story INQUEST Lamppost. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Kate and Chris Hollis talk to the media outside the West London Coroners Court in Chelsea, following the inquest into death of their baby son Thomas, who was killed by a lamppost which fell on top of his pram. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 16, 2012. See PA story INQUEST Lamppost. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The parents of tragic toddler Tommy Hollis have spoken of their pain at the death of their baby son and slammed the inquest into his death.

Eleven month-old Tommy, suffered a devastating head injury when a lamp post fell on his buggy in Chiswick, west London, west London, on February 23, 2010.

Workman Kelvin Elmore had cut a metal plate supporting the lamp post five days previously, not realising what it was, the inquest at West London Coroner’s Court heard.

Speaking outside West London Coroner’s Court yesterday, with her husband’s arm around her, Mrs Hollis said their sorrow was “compounded” by the way the inquest was conducted.

“We came here knowing it would be an extremely challenging time for us.

“However, we did not expect our upset and anguish to be compounded by what we feel was the coroner’s decision to exclude from consideration questions and evidence that might lead us to better understand how our son, Tommy, was killed in February 2010.

“We feel let down that crucial witnesses were not called or declined to answer questions.

“In particular, Kelvin Elmore, who cut the plate, chose not to give evidence and explain to the court, in person, why he did what he did.

“Despite what has been reported, Mr Elmore is not an engineer.

“Also, Hounslow Borough Council, under whose control these works were carried out, have been notably absent from these proceedings.

“We would also like know why there was no engineer on site at or around the time of the cut to the lamp post when it was apparent that the job was becoming more complicated and how no one realised that the plate was connected to the lamp post despite it being so close.”

A spokesman for Hounslow council said: “This was an awful tragedy and our sympathies remain with the Hollis family for the loss of their son Tommy.

“Safety is always the paramount concern. There was a suggestion during the inquest that undue pressure was placed on contractors by the council to hurry up the work. This was not supported by the whole of the evidence. We would never compromise safety by placing pressure on council officers or contractors to rush to complete work.

“It is important to finish works on time so that the public do not suffer unnecessary inconvenience, but this would never come before public safety.”

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