THERE was no reason to have used a tool to open a care home's lift door prior to a person falling down the shaft, an expert has told Jurors.

During the first day of its trial at Mold Crown Court on Monday, Pearlcare Wellfield Limited denied four counts relating to alleged heath and safety contraventions relating to a lift shaft at one of its care homes in Hawarden.

The court heard Lorraine Carter was 60 years of age when she was appointed manager of Wellfield Care Home in Wood Lane, in 2018.

Three days after taking charge, she was alerted to a fault with the home's lift, it having not dropped fully on the ground floor.

After opening the lift door on the first floor by using an emergency key, she fell down the shaft a short time later and sustained serious injuries.

Lifts expert David Cooper was called in to inspect the scene following the incident.

Speaking of the findings in his report, he told the court on Tuesday that the lift was simple in design, and is "commonly used in nursing homes."

He said having been installed in 1999, it was "old" and some of its parts had become obsolete, but added there was "nothing wrong" with it simply being old.

Following his inspection on site, he was given the care home's policy documents to review.

He said while he didn't take issue with the company's passenger lift policy - which was concerned with matters of servicing, maintenance and risk assessment for individuals - it appeared to him that there was a "disconnect" between the document and "what was happening on site."

James Michael Hill, prosecuting for Flintshire Council, asked him about the storage of the lift's emergency release key - which the court heard the previous day was located on a shelf by Mrs Carter and used prior to her fall.

He said such keys should be in a "secure" location for use by "authorised personnel" and managers.

Authorised personnel would be those trained in the specific task of releasing someone who is stuck in the lift, he said, and managers' access to the key should only be in order to pass it to an authorised and trained person for the task.

He said: "I'd expect there to be a safe system of securing keys.

"There was no reason to use a release key in my opinion - there wasn't someone stuck.

"I see no evidence that the injured party was trained in the use of the release key."

Mark Alexander Balysz, defending on behalf of Pearlcare, continued his questions for Mrs Carter on Tuesday.

He said: "You were doing this not to release someone who had been trapped in the lift - you were doing this in order to 'fix' the lift.

"In reality, you didn't know what you were doing."

She responded: "No, I hadn't been trained on the lift."

The trial continues.