A MOTHER whose son fell off scaffolding and suffered life-changing injuries has “achieved justice” after a court decided to slap the contracting company with a £160,000 fine.

Callum Crowley climbed onto scaffolding surrounding Llewelyn House in Cwmbran on May 6, 2017.

But the ladder slipped, causing the then 12-year-old to plunge 10 metres to the ground.

South Wales Argus:

Callum Crowley

He sustained life-changing injuries, including back injuries.

And yesterday the principal contractor - Westdale Services Limited – appeared before Newport Magistrates Court having pleaded guilty to one charge contrary to the Health and Safety Work Act.

Judge Shohomon Khan fined the company £160,000 and ordered it to pay costs totalling £22,310.

Kate Sherwin, who is Callum’s mum, revealed she now has “closure”.

“I finally achieved justice for my son,” she said.

In court Miss Sherwin read out a victim statement: “He has a heart of gold. But now the sparkle has gone out of my beautiful boy’s eyes.

“Callum is now a prisoner of his injuries.”

The court also heard from prosecutor Alan Fuller, who said that Callum and a friend had managed to access the ladder after getting past a ladder guard, which is a safety mechanism.

“It was surrounded by scaffolding but there was access from the ground,” he said.

“There was a ladder guard. But it was inadequate and only partly covered the ladder.

“They were able to get through the guard and climb the ladder by placing both feet either side of it.”

He added: “Ultimately, the removal of ground-floor ladders at the end of each day would have removed the risk altogether.”

Mitigating James Ageros said that Westdale Services Limited had originally intended to remove the ladders.

He said: “We, on behalf of Westdale Services Limited, acknowledge that he suffered serious injuries when he fell.

“This company takes health and safety seriously and has no previous convictions. Warning signs were placed around the scaffolding. The company’s original intention was to remove ladders altogether. There came a point where a contractor attended the site and said if Westdale removed the ladders they would invalidate the scaffolding tag. Therefore it was impermissible for Westdale to do what they were going to do.

“The ladder safeguards were then provided [by that contractor].”

Judge Khan ruled that the ladder guards were “too small to be effective”.