Lighting company director jailed for Qawra stage collapse that left woman paralysed
A court yesterday jailed the director of a lighting company, Sonlit Ltd, for 10 months after he was found to be responsible for the collapse of a structure at a party in Qawra which left a Ukrainian woman paralysed in September 2008.
Maurice Attard, of Mosta, had been subcontracted by the organisers of the party to install the heavy lighting equipment at a party on Triq it-Trunciera, opposite the Ta’ Fra Ben restaurant in Qawra.
Three hours into the event strong winds shook the structure and it collapsed onto a 120-strong crowd standing in front of the stage, with eight persons being injured. Valdyslava Kravchenko, who was 17 at the time, suffered severe injuries to the head and spine.
The court, which was presided over by Magistrate Donnatella Frendo Dimech, said that health and safety should always be a priority in any activity, not just within a work environment.
“It is truly shameful that a person’s life is changed overnight just because she happened to be in a particular place at a particular time”, the court observed.
The two organisers of the party were never charged and had refused to answer questions to the police in fear that they would incriminate themselves.
Inspector Frank Tabone prosecuted.
Lawyers Giannella de Marco and Gianluca Caruana Curran, appearing for the accused, gave notice of appeal.