Death fall lift 'was unlocked'

A 92-year-old woman fell to her death after a faulty lift was left unlocked by an engineer, a court heard.

Elizabeth Young died at the Heathdale Rest Home in Whitley Bay after falling 10ft (3m) from the second floor in September 2010.

Paul Thompson and his employer Derwent Lift Services Ltd deny health and safety charges at Newcastle Crown Court.

The trial is expected to last seven days.

'Taken seconds'

Prosecutor Susan Hirst said the lift had been out of service for two days while the engineer waited for spare parts.

Miss Hirst described how Mrs Young fell from the second floor after trying to use the broken lift.

She said Mr Thompson had failed to lock the lift and that necessary safety checks would have taken seconds to carry out.

"This was at a time when he knew or ought to have known that the lift car was not positioned on that floor," Miss Hirst said.

Mr Thompson, of Denton Burn, Newcastle, and the company based in Stanley, County Durham, are accused of charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

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