Masonry-death wall ‘had been inspected’

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Youths had jumped on the boundary terrace wall of a restaurant days before a piece of falling masonry killed a young man who was drinking there, an inquest heard yesterday.

A woman had also crashed her car into the wall of the restaurant months before 27-year-old Peter Westropp died.

Mr Westropp was sitting with four friends in the terrace area of Le Bouchon Bordelais in Battersea, south London, at around 9.20pm on August 10 last year when the accident happened.

Restaurant manager Niack M’Bae told the jury that on the Saturday “a number of youths were jumping on the boundary terrace wall”.

Mr M’Bae also said that about three or four months before the tragedy “a car driven by a woman lost control and ran into the restaurant”.

However, Frederic Ollier, divisional director of the restaurant, said he had a council safety officer and an architect inspect the building after the car accident but they both ruled out structural damage.

Installation manager at Deans Blinds, Antony Gray, said a canopy on the restaurant was fixed securely and could not be linked to the fallen masonry.

Mr M’Bae said that, although the restaurant was closed on the Monday and Tuesday of that week because of rioting nearby, there was no visible damage to the building due to the civil unrest.

Mr Westropp, a surveyor, of Scotts Lane, Shortlands, Bromley, south east London, was
pronounced dead at the

The inquest before Westminster Deputy Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe was adjourned and continues on Monday.