No-one was around store at time of hole fall, says BHS plumber

A SECOND plumber has denied negligence after a pensioner fell down an open manhole while drains were being cleared at a department store.

Stephen McCann was giving evidence at the trial of BHS, which denies breaching health and safety laws at its Princes Street branch.

Prosecutors allege 77-year-old Mollie McGregor was left seriously injured because BHS failed to make suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to employees and the public.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr McCann told the Edinburgh Sheriff Court that he and his workmate, his grandfather Francis McCann, had been left unsupervised to carry out the work.

Earlier this week, Francis McCann told the court he had advised staff against carrying out the work during open hours as he feared it was unsafe for customers.
The 65-year-old said he had posted three warning cones around the manhole, but moments later heard Ms McGregor shouting for help after falling in.

Representing BHS, Peter Gray QC yesterday told Stephen McCann: “The report heard that far from your grandfather thinking the area was closed to the public, you both understood it was open to the public and were concerned about the obvious danger that presented and discussed that.”

Mr McCann said he believed the area was closed to the public as no-one was around. He added: “I don’t recall speaking about that, I don’t recall seeing any public there.”

The trial before Sheriff Neil MacKinnon continues.