Tyne & Wear

Derwent Lift Services fined for care home safety breach

Heathdale Rest Home in Whitley Bay
Image caption Elizabeth Young fell from the second floor of the home

A lift company that was cleared of responsibility for the death of a 92-year-old woman has been fined for failing to carry out a risk assessment at the care home where she died.

Elizabeth Young fell down the lift shaft at Heathdale in North Tyneside.

Derwent Lift Services was cleared of charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act in December.

But it was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 costs for a minor breach at Newcastle Crown Court earlier.

Mrs Young, who suffered from dementia, was able to open broken doors on the lift after it had been disconnected during an inspection.

She fell 10ft (3m) from the second floor of the Whitley Bay home.

Engineer Paul Thompson, 61, of Denton Burn, Newcastle, was cleared of a safety breach at the earlier trial.

The firm, based in Stanley, County Durham, said it was "saddened" by Mrs Young's death.

"Although the company is naturally disappointed to be convicted of one of the charges, it notes that this was of a technical nature and not connected to Mrs Young's death," it said.

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