The owner of a roofing firm has pleaded guilty to manslaughter after the death of a teenage employee who had joined the firm only a week earlier.

On the eve of his trial at Cardiff crown court on Monday, Roy Clark of Northeastern Roofing admitted to the charge in relation to the death of Daniel Dennis, 17.

Dennis, from Bridgend, died after falling through a skylight at a Matalan store in Cwmbran on 8 April 2003. He had gone on to the roof to look for a piece of timber for a colleague.

Clark, 50, also from Bridgend, has been released on bail prior to sentencing at Swansea crown court on 28 April.

The prosecution follows a judicial review backed by the GMB union and solicitors acting for the victim’s family. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had originally decided against a criminal prosecution, but this was overturned by the High Court.

A High Court judge said in December 2006 that a solicitor acting for the CPS had not taken into account the “seriousness of a failure to give proper instruction not to go on the roof prior to induction”.