Woman weeps as she recalls South Yorkshire surgery roof fall

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A FORMER receptionist wept in court as she recalled the moment she fell through a roof at work.

Catherine Georgina Scarborough broke down as she told a jury at Sheffield Crown Court how a regular working day at Fir Vale Dental Centre March 2009 left her hospitalised.

Miss Scarborough said she and colleague Laura Kay went on to the flat roof above a dental room to have a cigarette and discuss a colleague’s birthday.

Moments later, she fell through a skylight into a treatment room below.

She said: “I don’t know whether I had the cigarette or not. All I remember is that Laura seemed really tall in front of me all of a sudden.

“The next thing I know I’m coming down. I could not work out where I was.”

Integrated Dental Holdings, which owns the practice, denies breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act by failing to ensure the safety of those on the premises.

The ex-receptionist, who had been employed by the firm since 2008, said she had seen one of the dentists use the roof frequently since starting work at the practice.

She said: “I knew other people had been out there before the accident because of general chit-chat. “I was never told at any stage not to use it.

“I’m not a risk-taker, it’s not my personality. If I am told not to do something, I don’t do it.”

When asked how she gained access to the locked patio doors which led to the roof, Miss Scarborough said she could not recall but said she didn’t know where the key was kept.

Mark Balysz, defending, argued Miss Scarborough gone on to the roof to avoid her mother-in-law, who was being treated in the surgery at the time.

He also claimed a former manager had warned her not to use the roof.

The trial continues.