Gary Lavin leaves the Maroochydore District Court. He and his company Multi-Run Roofing are on trial over alleged reckless conduct which led to the death of a roofer in 2014.
Gary Lavin leaves the Maroochydore District Court. He and his company Multi-Run Roofing are on trial over alleged reckless conduct which led to the death of a roofer in 2014.

Defence says roof fall witness account ‘laughable’

A DEFENCE barrister labelled a key witness' evidence "laughable" in a trial where a Sunshine Coast company director faces charges over a workplace death.

Gary Lavin's barrister, Laura Reece, asked the jury if they could trust anything roofing contractor Michael Pairama said in the first day of trial after he admitted to lying to police in the first instance.

Mr Lavin, director of Multi-Run Roofing, is facing trial at Maroochydore District Court for reckless conduct after a man died on a worksite his business was running.

The victim, Whareheepa Te Amo, fell to his death from a roof without any safety railings he was working on in July 2014.

Ms Reece and crown prosecutor Michael Copley submitted their closing statements to the court this morning with Ms Reece focusing her attention on the key witness.

Ms Reece suggested to the jury that Mr Lavin was innocent as the victim was a member of Mr Pairama's roofing "gang".

Mr Pairama admitted on the first day of trial to placing a harness near the victim as he lay dead on the ground.

He told police he removed Mr Te Amo's harness after he fell.

In court, Mr Pairama said he lied as he was worried for the consequences on Lavin.

Ms Reece said this was "laughable" and that his first thought was to lie to police to save himself.

She labelled his behaviour in the witness box as "ducking and weaving" around questions.

Mr Copley's closing statement was focused on the suggestion Mr Lavin "omitted to ensure" his company installed the protection.

"The failure to install the installation exposed Mr Te Amo, a person to whom Mr Lavin owed a duty, to a risk of death," he said.

"Mr Lavin had a duty of due diligence to ensure the company had the resources … but also that the company used the resources that he controlled."

Ms Reece suggested to the jury that the $10,000 cost of railing was not an issue after Mr Pairama said Mr Lavin labelled the railings as "health and safety bulls---".

The judge gave directions to the jury this afternoon before they broke to deliberate a verdict.



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