Published: 08/09/2017 07:00 - Updated: 08/09/2017 15:15

Couple cheat death in ceiling collapse drama

Written byKenny MacDonald

Scott Lapsley
Scott Lapsley's bloodied face and the damage to the ceiling after it collapsed on him.

AN Inverness couple have spoken of their terror as a ceiling collapsed in their city centre home.

The pair were staying at the Cordon House homeless unit in Union Street when the ceiling came crashing down on top of Scott Lapsley.

He was showered with debris which split his head open and cut his face while pregnant fiancée Sherrie Stirling screamed in horror.

Mr Lapsley (34) was left in agony as rocks, rubble, wood, plaster and water all fell on him.

He was taken to Raigmore Hospital after the incident, where medics used special glue to tend his head wounds.

He said: "I was just sitting on the end of the bed last Saturday afternoon about 3pm watching the horse racing on television when the ceiling collapsed and I was left covered in blood.

"It was terrible. I could've been killed.

"I was in hospital for a few hours and was quite dazed, but I was able to get out as long as Sherrie kept a check on me.

"I got painkillers to take which helped. But I am still in a bit of pain now."

He and Ms Stirling agreed it could have been a lot worse if she had also been sitting there.

She said: "I am two months pregnant and who knows what could have happened to me if I had been under that.

"When it happened I was terrified and started screaming.

"It just caved in all of a sudden and Scott was left in a real mess.

"You just wonder what would have happened if there had been kids in the room."

Mr Lapsley added: "The roof actually came in on Sherrie's side of the bed, but I was sitting there watching the racing when, next minute, bang!

"Then all these stones and stuff came crashing down.

"I got a cut head, debris hit me in the chest which left bruising and I also got a cut on the top of my lip.

"The gap was about a metre long and you could see the bottom of the floor above and how the gap had been filled with all sorts of stuff.

"I took photos on my phone earlier which showed that the ceiling had suffered water damage before and had been repaired.

"We also took photos of my wounds and the damage to my new television plus the mobile phone and its charger.

"My T-shirt was soaking wet from the water which came down and there was blood all over the place."

Ms Stirling added: "Highland Council put us up in the Travelodge for a couple of nights and now we are waiting to hear from our housing officer.

"It was just horrible what happened to Scott and luckily he is all right."

Mr Lapsley added: "When we went back to Cordon House our stuff had been packed up and there was tape across the door of the room.

"There was a message on it saying the room was closed for safety reasons.

"The cause of the collapse is currently suspected to be water damage and the couple remain at the Travelodge this week.

A Highland Council spokesman said: "While we cannot comment on individuals' circumstances relating to our housing service, we can confirm that we are looking into an incident that occurred in an Inverness property rented by the council from a third party for the provision of homeless accommodation.

"The council will provide temporary accommodation on an emergency basis where necessary while it carries out a full investigation into their homelessness and where it has assessed that the council has a duty to secure accommodation for a household.

"But it has not been able to make an offer of housing."

Nobody was available for comment at Cordon House.

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