A company boss has been jailed for four years after an employee was crushed to death by nearly half a tonne of glass panels.

Han Rao, of Naomi Steet, Lewisham was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for manslaughter today (February 4) following trial at the Old Bailey.

He was further sentenced to 15 month’s imprisonment for breaching health and safety laws, to run concurrently.

On November 16, 2015, Rao tasked two employees at TLW (UK) logistics company in the Rippleside Commercial Estate, Barking, to break up several damaged glazing panels.

Marian Iancu, 39, a Leyton resident, and his colleague were tipping the panels into a skip before smashing them up by hand.

As he manoeuvred a 400-kilo panel into position with a forklift truck it toppled forward, crushing him against the truck.

Colleagues tried to rescue Mr Iancu but he had suffered terrible injuries to his chest, fracturing his sternum and rupturing his heart and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The subsequent investigation found Rao had no health and safety policies in place and had not provided his employees the correct training or supervision.

On the day of the incident, another employee warned Rao Mr Iancu’s life was being endangered by the work, however Rao did not tell them to stop, instead urging them to be careful and wear gloves.

Detective Constable Andy Jose, who led the investigation, said: "Rao was woefully unqualified as a manager. Not only did he have no knowledge or experience of his duties, he had not taken any steps to find out what he was required to do in terms of health and safety.

"He had also been made aware that this was a dangerous task but had not done anything to mitigate the risks. In fact, he ignored all of the warning signs put to him, signs which could have prevented Marian’s needless death had he acted upon them."

Marian’s brother, Adrian Iancu, added: "Marian was a simple man. He was a very good son, brother and friend. Someone that you could trust and rely on unconditionally. He always helped out with family, friends and work mates.

"Sadly Marian never had the opportunity to have a family of his own and on occasions he probably spent more time with my kids than I did because of my work. It was a joy to see him playing: family quality time that we will always remember with pleasure. We will definitely miss all these moments with deep regret in our hearts.

"There are, and will be, lots of regrets from that moment but the biggest regret is that I never had a chance to say “thank you” for being a great person, uncle, brother.

"Marian will live through our memories but we’re already missing simple things like a handshake or a hug or a simple presence. Our lives have been changed forever."