A TOPPLING lampost which fell on a pram in Chiswick, tragicly killing a baby, was the responsibilty of Hounslow Council, West London Coroner's Court was told today (May 15).
Workmen mistakenly cut off part of its metal support and it then fell on Tommy Hollis as his nanny pushed his pram outside Chiswick Town Hall on February 23, 2010, the inquest heard.
He died in hospital 48 hours later, on the day before his first birthday.
They had been moving fibre optic cables on behalf of Virgin Media as part of a local authority project to widen the road.
Speaking today Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Dominic Long said the post had an unusual design, found in only two per cent of lampposts in the country.
When he was asked who was responsible for safety at the site, he said: "The London Borough of Hounslow had responsibility for that site, it was their site."
He said the HSE had since issued a safety alert to warn others about the risks of working near this type of lamppost.
Yesterday the court heard how Kelvin Elmore, a workman for utilities firm McNicholas Construction (Holdings) Ltd, said he had 'absolutely no idea' his actions would have made the post less stable.
Mr Elmore said, in his statement read to the inquest: "I had believed the piece of steel to be part of a tramline, I had no idea it was connected to the lamppost. Had I known that, I would not have continued to work in the vicinity of the lamppost myself."
The senior foreman, who had 17 years of experience said he was 'utterly devastated to have had any involvement in the events that occurred.'
He added: "As a father myself, I cannot express how horrified I am to have had any involvement with the death of a child. If I could take the place of that child then I would."
Anna Martin who had been worked as Tommy's nanny for about two months also read a statement to the hearing yesterday.
She said she had taken Tommy from the family home in Sutton Court Road at about 10.30am to go to Starbucks, when she saw the orange barriers on either side of her and checked it was safe to cross.
She added: "The next thing I remember was a loud noise, like something hollow hitting something. There was a terrible scream, and I realised something terrible had happened."
The court was told the screams belonged to Mary Gregory who was pushing her granddaughter in a buggy alongside Ms Martin. She was also struck by the lamppost as it fell, knocking her to the ground and leading to an overnight stay in hospital.
Tommy had suffered an 'instantaneous coma' and massive brain damage and was airlifted to hospital but died at 5.25am on February 25. A pathologist recorded the cause of death as 'severe impact head injury'.
The hearing continues.