THE hole through which a York pensioner fell to his death could have been made smaller, a jury has heard.

Defence expert witness Avijit Maitra said joiner Matthew Hobson of Cooper and Westgate could have taken up the floorboards in Kenneth Armitage’s first floor bathroom in sections, rather than all at the same time.

The jury at Leeds Crown Court heard that Mr Armitage, 81, fell to his death through the hole in his home off Huntington Road, York, after Mr Hobson left it protected by his tool bags during the weekend.

They have also heard  from other members of staff at the company, who said they would not have left the hole in the way Mr Hobson did.

Responding to a juror question, Mr Maitra said that Mr Hobson couldn’t replace the boards once he had removed them because he didn’t have a circular saw and was therefore limited in where he could cut them.

Cooper and Westgate, of Barfield Road, Heworth, denies two charges of failing to protect the safety of Mr Hobson and Mr Armitage.

Mr Maitra agreed with prosecution expert witness Ian Whitfield that a company risk assessment in place was generic and not specific to the job Mr Hobson was doing.

He agreed with the prosecution that it did not state that making holes in first floor bathrooms created a risk of working at height.

The trial continues.