A Tower Hamlets businessman has been jailed and fined £20,000 after an employee was electrocuted and died.
52-year-old Shaip Nimanif was sentenced to 4 years in prison for manslaughter and ordered to pay £20,000 to the family of a man who died in accommodation set up next door to Mr Nimani’s car wash business, Bubbles Carwash close to Bethnal Green tube station.
The Old Bailey court heard how Sandu Laurentiu, 40, who worked at Bubbles Carwash, had been living in cramped and rat-infested conditions along with 5 other Romanian employees. Having complained to Nimani on several occasions about electric shocks in the shower nothing was done.
On August 19 2015, Mr Laurentiu collapsed in the shower after being electrocuted. He was taken by ambulance to the Royal London Hospital and pronounced dead at 10:37 pm.
Police and Health and Safety investigators discovered Nimani’s employees were living in appalling conditions in a railway arch next door to his business, in Malcolm Place, E2. The property was found to have bad wiring, plug overloads and a bypassed electric meter to avoid paying for electricity.
Prosecutor William Boyce QC told the court: “The conditions in the residential block were ones of almost abject squalor and extreme danger to life.”
Electrical systems at the car wash were,he said, in an “appalling condition”.
“Someone had abstracted the electricity for the premises and bypassed the meter, no doubt to avoid paying the bill.
“Someone had maintained the systems in a woefully incompetent way.”
The victim’s brother Marius Sava told the court in a victim impact statement that the whole family had been devastated by the death of Mr Laurentiu whom he described as a “kind and loving man” who had left Romania in search of a better life.
He accused Shaip Nimani of taking advantage of and exploiting his brother and added: “It appears to me that the employment laws and rules and regulations in the UK are not strong enough, and that more needs to be done to protect the welfare and wellbeing of foreign nationals, to stop incidents like this happening again.
Nimani was convicted last week. He was sentenced on Monday January 16 and banned from being a company director for 10 years.
A second man, Nusret Nimani was acquitted of manslaughter.