Liverpool

Crosby roof fall pupils 'had been drinking'

John Summerfield
Image caption John Summerfield wanted to show the pupils the renovation work

A head teacher took pupils who had been drinking on to their school roof where one of them fell through a skylight, a court has heard.

Joel Murray, then 18, suffered multiple injuries in the fall at Sacred Heart Catholic College in Crosby Merseyside, Liverpool Crown Court was told.

Head teacher John Summerfield led them to the roof during an A-level results party in 2008.

He denies breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Mr Murray was in a group of 10 to 12 sixth formers who were taken on to the flat roof to see the results of renovations to the building.

He fractured his skull, broke ribs, perforated an eardrum and suffered permanent damage to his eye in the fall.

'Slightly inebriated'

Kevin Donnelly, prosecuting, described the party as a "restrained affair" and said the students had each consumed no more than one or two bottles of beer or glasses of wine.

While on the roof, Mr Summerfield told the teenagers to stay away from the skylight but Mr Murray placed his foot on it as he walked past and fell through.

Mr Donnelly said: "Nobody was drunk but it is possible they were slightly affected by drink, possibly slightly inebriated.

"Mr Summerfield took a group into an area which was normally out of bounds. The decision was his and it was his alone.

"The very act of taking the students to that area was a breach of his duty of care. He failed to give appropriate consideration to the risks involved."

The 65-year-old denies breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act by failing to take reasonable care for the safety of his students.

The case continues.

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