“Negligent conduct” resulted in toddler falling to her death


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A Sheffield mother sobbed and recalled her frantic search for her two-year-old daughter, before discovering that the child had plunged to her death from a block of flats in Sheffield.

Little Ryaheen Banismuslem plunged from the fourth-floor of the North Bank apartments, in Sheffield city centre, on 27th June 2012, after a maintenance worker failed to replace a glass panel he had removed from a walkway barrier, the court heard.

TRAGIC: Toddler Ryaheen Banimuslem plunged to her death from a block of flats in Sheffield

TRAGIC: Toddler Ryaheen Banimuslem plunged to her death from a block of flats in Sheffield

Maintenance worker Robert Warner, 45, is standing trial accused of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Ryaheen’s mother - Ola Al Fatle broke down while giving evidence at the trial. She described how she and her two children were playing on the fourth floor communal garden at the apartments.

The toddler's mother broke down once more as she recalled the moment she realised her daughter had fallen.

Asked by Jonathan Fuller QC, defending, how long her daughter was out her sight, she said: “I didn't let her out of my sight usually.”

IN COURT: Robert Warner, 45, is standing trial accused of manslaughter by gross negligence

IN COURT: Robert Warner, 45, is standing trial accused of manslaughter by gross negligence

She explained how Ryaheen was only missing for a very short period of time.

Warner, 45, of Shirehall Crescent, Shiregreen, Sheffield, denies a single charge of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Bryan Cox QC, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court, there was a gap in the barrier because a glass panel had been removed by Warner.

Mr Cox said: “He created that very dangerous state of affairs, and he did nothing to warn of the obvious danger.”

Wicker Riverside apartment on North Bank in Sheffield, South Yorkshire where a three-year-old Ryaheen Banimuslem fell from the fourth floor balcony

Wicker Riverside apartment on North Bank in Sheffield, South Yorkshire where a three-year-old Ryaheen Banimuslem fell from the fourth floor balcony

The court heard Warner submitted an invoice to ARIM (Allsop Residential Investment Management) - the firm which managed the building - claiming he had bought a new glass panel, which he never did.

Mr Cox told jurors: “He stood to gain financially as you will see. He submitted an invoice to Arim on the basis he had incurred expenditure purchasing the glass panel. The fact is he did not.”

Residents of the flats had reported seeing a panel missing from the barrier several weeks before Ryaheen’s death.
Mr Cox said: “The accident was caused by the defendant's negligent conduct.”

Mr Cox told the jury how Ryaheen was born in Iraq but moved to the UK in 2011 as her father was studying for a PhD in material physics at Sheffield University.

The trial is expected to last about three weeks.

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