Comet fined £75,000 after roof fall

Electrical chain Comet has been fined £75,000 after a man effectively fell to his death from the roof of a North Wales store back in 2007.

Paul Alker died in hospital of his injuries five days after the fall in Wrexham on June 7.

The company admitted failing to ensure his - and another man's - safety when working at heights and was also ordered to pay £24,400 in costs.

At the time Mr Alker had been employed by Steven Smith of Wrexham Roofing Services Ltd who has previously been jailed for two years after he was convicted of manslaughter.

The judge said that the accident happened a week into the two week contract and Comet had carried out no checks or monitoring.

He said:

"If anyone would have visited the site it would have been immediately apparent that there were totally unacceptable risks being taken.

"That would have been plain to anyone who saw what was happening.

"In my judgment, this really was an accident waiting to happen."

James Leonard, defending, said that Mr Alker was clearly a much loved member of his family and his loss was felt deeply and keenly.

Comet accepted its failings and its responsibilities but felt a keen sense of being misled by Smith.

It was accepted that if his work had been monitored as it should have been then his failings would have been uncovered.

Paul Alker's heart-broken mum, Mrs Ann Williams, said companies must protect the safety of their employees by ensuring that all health and safety procedures were in place.

Speaking outside Mold Crown Court, she said:

"Companies have to look after people who work for them.

"You don’t expect someone to go out to work and not come back."