Roy Clark of North Eastern Roofing admits charge on eve of crown court trial

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

Roy Clark of North Eastern Roofing admitted the charge in relation to the death of 17-year-old Daniel Dennis on the eve of his trial at Cardiff crown court.

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

Clark, aged 50 and also from Bridgend, has been released on unconditional bail before being sentenced at Swansea crown court in a few weeks’ time.

The prosecution follows judicial review proceedings backed by the GMB union and solicitors acting for the victim’s family. The Crown Prosecution Service had originally decided not to bring a criminal prosecution but the decision 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 or proper instruction”.

The case was not opened, but adjourned for sentence on 28 April.