Jacob Marx death: William Hill sign which killed lawyer was ‘dangerously insecure’ court hears

PUBLISHED: 17:04 28 September 2018 | UPDATED: 18:48 28 September 2018

Undated family handout issued by David Marx of Jacob Marx. Picture: David Marx/PA

Undated family handout issued by David Marx of Jacob Marx. Picture: David Marx/PA

The 200kg William Hill sign which crushed and killed New Zealander Jacob Marx in Camden Town had been “dangerously insecure for a long period of time”, a court has heard.

The sign fell two metres from above the Camden Road branch of the bookmaker’s on the afternoon of January 28 2013.

Jacob, 27, lived in Islington and had been working in London for four months before he was hit by the sign and left with a broken neck and fractured skull.

The incident happened at just before 5pm and the victim died about an hour later, Blackfriars Crown Court heard on Friday.

Camden Council have brought the case, with William Hill Organisation Ltd facing charges of breaching health and safety duties in regard to both employees and non-employees.

Opening the prosecution case, James Ageros QC told jurors: “The sign was insecurely fixed on to a wooden subframe, and parts of the subframe were insecurely fixed to each other.

“The sign had been dangerously insecure for a long period of time and could equally have fallen on any other passer-by, customer or indeed employee.

“Mr Marx was spectacularly unlucky to be in just the wrong place at just the wrong time.”

The bookmaker had enlisted various sub-contractors to carry out the fittings, with work starting on the sign in 2006, jurors heard.

Mr Ageros added: “William Hill had the overriding and overall duty that what was done on its behalf was safe and did not present a risk to the public.”

William Hill Organisation Ltd is charged with one count of failing to ensure the safety of non-employees and one count of failing to ensure the safety of employees, both contrary to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The company has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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