A boy who broke into a primary school and injured himself swinging on a gate was received £5,700 in compensation.It is not as if a landlord had set his estate with man traps and spring guns. It is not as if the boy wandered innocently on to private land. If the facts are as presented, he was a secondary school pupil who broke into a primary school.
The secondary school pupil, who was trespassing at night on school grounds, was hurt when the gate collapsed.
Leicestershire County Council had to pay money to the boy because they say they could not prove the gate had been maintained properly.
And does a council really have to keep detailed maintenance records for all its properties in case a burglar injures himself?
But before you start moaning about loony council or P******** C********** G*** M**, read further. You will see who the real villains are:
A city school head teacher said no-win, no-fee insurance claim companies were targeting schools, leading to rocketing insurance premiums.The inevitable result of such commercial pressures and judicial rulings is that councils will make schools even more of a fortress than they are now. Benign activities like children using school playing fields for kickabouts out of school hours will become impossible.
He said: "Within the first week of starting to work at my school I was told to look back at a case where a boy had been injured seven or eight years ago and was trying to get compensation.
"There was another incident where the council wanted to pay out about £5,000 to a child who had fallen in the playground.
"It was only a minor injury and we'd dealt with it really well. If we start paying out that kind of compensation we are opening up the floodgates to compensation in the smallest of cases such as grazed knee or broken fingers."
As I have no doubt remarked before, the paradox is that the more rights we give children, the less freedom they have.