An 81-year-old York man fell to his death through a hole in his bathroom floor left by a builders’ employee, a jury has heard.

In a statement, Kenneth Armitage’s daughter Susan said she became concerned when she went round to his house in the dark to find the lights out and the curtains open.

She searched the house, calling his name and found him lying covered in blood on the floor of the kitchen below his bathroom, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Above him was a hole in the ceiling between the kitchen and the bathroom.

“From what I could see, it looked as if he had gone through the hole in the ceiling, though he wasn’t lying directly under the hole,” the statement said. “There was ceiling plaster all over the kitchen floor.”

Ben Thomas, prosecuting, alleged joiner Matthew Hobson, then 19, had created a void above the plaster kitchen ceiling by removing rafters in the bathroom floor to access pipework the previous day and had not made the area safe before leaving the site for the weekend.

It was the only bathroom in the house and Mr Armitage was continuing to live in the house while the bathroom was being converted into a wet room.

Hobson had not been given any safety training by his employers Cooper & Westgate of York and it was the first time he had been working alone, alleged Mr Thomas.

He had put tool bags and other equipment around the hole. But that was insufficient, alleged Mr Thomas.

Mr Armitage’s daughter and son-in-law arrived early the following evening, found his body and called police.

Officers found a tool bag on the toilet, the bathroom window open with the handle in bits nearby, and another tool bag and other building equipment outside the bathroom and in a nearby bedroom, said Mr Thomas.

Cooper & Westgate, of James Nicholson Link, Clifton Moor, denies charges of failure to ensure the safety, health and welfare of non-employees including Mr Armitage and failure to ensure the safety, health and welfare of employees including Mr Hobson.

The court heard Mr Armitage engaged the company to convert his bathroom into a wet room with a walk-in shower with a grant from City of York Council after having problems getting in and out of his bath and that Cooper & Westgate was on the council’s list of approved contractors.

Mr Armitage was a generally fit and mobile man, the jury was told.

Opening the prosecution for the Health and Safety Executive, Mr Thomas said Mr Hobson removed the bath and four planks in the bathroom floor to access pipework on Friday, February 9, 2019. While working, he had been next to the hole, because he had seen other men doing likewise on other jobs.

He wasn’t taking proper precautions about stopping himself going through the hole, said Mr Thomas.

Hobson told investigators that before he left, he arranged his tool bags and other working equipment around the hole.

“That is how he had seen others do it and no-one had told him not to,” alleged Mr Thomas.

Hobson told investigators he had spoken to Mr Armitage, taken him to the bathroom and told him the sink and toilet were working.

“He told Mr Armitage about the hole in the floor and explained to him he needed to be careful ….. he could fall through the ceiling if he didn’t take care around the items placed around the hole,” alleged Mr Thomas.

Mr Hobson left for the weekend at 3.30pm.

The trial continues.