Grenfell files allegedly ‘lost forever’ after laptop wiped
Author: Wardah Sempa | Wednesday 16th September 2020
Some emails, documents and design drawings relating to the Grenfell Tower refurbishment appear to have allegedly been lost forever after being wiped from a laptop, the inquiry into the fire has heard. Design manager Daniel Anketell-Jones, who worked for cladding specialists Harley Facades until March 2016, told the hearing he erased his work computer of all files after agreeing to keep the device despite leaving the firm.
The electrical and mechanical engineering graduate told the inquiry on Monday he made the “assumption” his work would remain on the Harley Facades server, which it did not, and denied a claim he arranged for his email file to be deleted from the firm’s internal systems.
“I believed everything would be kept on the company server because all the laptops just attached into the server and all the emails were retained on there,” he said. In his witness statement, Harley managing director Ray Bailey said he believed every Harley employee who worked on the revamp was able to pass on emails in the days following the June 2017 fire – except Mr Anketell-Jones.
He said: “As for Daniel Anketell-Jones, he left Harley some months before the fire.
“By that stage, he had both deleted all of his Harley related emails from his laptop and had arranged with our service provider to remove his email file from our systems.”
Asked about this by inquiry lawyer Kate Grange QC, Mr Anketell-Jones said: “I don’t know what he means by that.
“I didn’t arrange for that to happen. I don’t think I would have the authority or the security to do that.”
Mr Anketell-Jones, who worked for Harley for almost nine years, told the inquiry: “In the past where I’d had a laptop break or replaced it, it was just a simple case of connecting it back up to the server and you had all your emails instantly once again.”
In his witness statement, he added: “The material that was deleted would have related to all Harley projects I had worked on during my time at the company including the Grenfell Tower refurbishment project.
“This would have included emails, documents, design drawings, calculations.
“This would mainly have been emails, as most of the working information was kept on the server.”