Scout leader wins pole fall payout

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A scout leader who fractured his spine on a cross country assault course has won £167,514 damages.

Robert Wilson, 49, of Bordon in Hampshire, fell on his bottom after sliding down a fireman’s pole on an obstacle called the Burma Bridge during a week’s camp at the Clyne Farm Centre, near Swansea.

He suffered great pain from the injury to his first lumbar vertebra which needed surgery and left him in a spinal brace for six months. The discomfort affected his work as a taxi driver and made it difficult to help his disabled wife.

Yesterday, Mrs Justice Swift allowed Mr Wilson’s claim against chartered structural engineer Geoff Haden, trading as Clyne Farm Centre, who denied liability.

Mr Haden, who devised the course with the assistance of a former army assault course instructor, had told London’s High Court that over 20 years about 300,000 people – half of them children – had used the course with no similar accident.