A council run community centre has been blamed after a man fell from a wall suffering life-threatening injuries.
The victim, a Mr Dumpty, known to friends as “Humpty”, remains in a critical condition in intensive care.
Witnesses to the accident, described by one as “a great fall”, blamed health and safety lapses including a lack of warning signs and the absence of a safety rail. Access to the wall was too easy, they said, adding that the section of wall Mr Dumpty fell from was narrow and poorly maintained.
Mr Dumpty’s family is suing the council for negligence, a charge it denies.
“Mr Dumpty was at the centre to attend a weight management programme. As he left the premises, he climbed the wall to get a better view of a passing military parade. The first staff knew of the accident was when mounted cavalry tried to administer first aid,” said a council spokesman.
A solicitor for the Dumptys said the council had failed to provide adequate supervision of visitors to the centre and should have warned them about the dangerous condition of the wall.
“We are also suing the army. Instead of immediately calling an ambulance, they tried to patch my client up. At one point several horses were involved, none of which were medically trained.”
Doctors confirmed that hoof prints had been found on Mr Dumpty when he was brought into A&E.
A spokesman for the local hospital said that chances of a full recovery were remote. “We do not think there is a realistic prospect of putting the patient together again,” he said.
This is the second time the council’s health and safety record has been called into question. Last year, a man and his female companion fell down a hill while fetching a pail of water from a standpipe. The man suffered head injuries.
Mr Dumpty’s family is seeking compensation for the accident and loss of earnings. Mr Dumpty worked as a nursery rhyme character.