A YOUNG stonemason’s mate died from “catastrophic” injuries when he was crushed by a two-tonne limestone block, after his employers “disregarded” risks, a jury has heard.

David Evans died on February 9, 2010, when he and colleagues were building a Mediterranean wall for a new house.

The stone, the second to be moved that morning, was being put into place by a crane, but when the strops were removed it toppled on to Mr Evans and pinned him to steps.

Staff rushed to treat Mr Evans, 23, before he was taken to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The incident happened at the Well Barn Estate in Moulsford, near Wallingford, owned by Pizza Express founder Hugh Osmond.

A post mortem confirmed Mr Evans died from blunt trauma injuries to his chest and abdomen.

His employer, Cavendish Masonry Ltd, denies a corporate manslaughter charge.

Opening the case at Oxford Crown Court yesterday, Oliver Glasgow, prosecuting, said: “Cavendish Masonry did almost nothing to ensure that the lifting operation was done safely; the dangers that it posed were obvious and they were alerted to the risks by the architects.

“They tasked employees to embark on a hazardous building project without ensuring their lives were not put in danger.

"Had they not acted with such disregard of the risks, then in all likelihood, David Evans would be alive today.”

The trial continues.