Authorities were forced to closed Sheffield Combined Court while urgent safety assessments were carried out to the building.

Reports from the city centre site indicate that lighting strips fell from a ceiling in one of the courtrooms. Eye witnesses said the lights fell on top of files being used by barristers during a murder trial. It is understood no one was injured during the incident.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service confirmed that the building was closed for the rest of Wednesday while checks were carried out, before the building was opened again on Thursday. Some work was being transferred to Sheffield Magistrates’ Court.

The incident came less than a week after the HMCTS chief executive admitted the service had been placed under pressure during the recent spell of cold weather, with 15 courts requiring repairs to their roof.

Susan Acland-Hood added: ’I am confident that the combination of ongoing maintenance, quick fixes, dedicated local teams and a cohesive longer-term estates strategy will make steady and incremental improvements to our courts and tribunals.’