Judge orders 'injured' witness to see doctor

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The Independent Online
A former business partner of the England coach Terry Venables was sent to see a doctor by a High Court judge yesterday and ordered to return with a note about the finger he injured in the witness box on Thursday.

At the start of giving evidence yesterday, Paul Kirby, who Mr Venables claims owes him pounds 144,359 for clearing the debts of a failed pub company, asked to be excused so he could have an injection in the finger he sliced while going through a bundle of court papers.

Mr Justice Carnwath, who had waited all morning while Mr Kirby sat through his failed Court of Appeal hearing to admit more evidence in the action with Mr Venables, said: "It seems extraordinary that you sat in court all this morning when you could have sought medical attention out of this court's time."

Holding his bandaged left index finger, Mr Kirby replied that he turned up at court because he had been told he could face contempt charges if he was not there to give evidence.

Mr Kirby, of south Kensington, west London, was a partner with Mr Venables in Transatlantic Inns which ran four public houses in London and the Home Counties.

Earlier at the Court of Appeal hearing, Marion Simmons QC said that Mr Kirby had seen a document handed to him by the Official Receiver in 1993 which showed that Mr Venables had leased the assets of three of the Transatlantic Inns' public houses to raise pounds 1m which he used to buy shares in Tottenham Hotspur football club.

She said Mr Kirby could not have included it in his original defence because he did not have the document until a subpoena order was issued recently.

Mr Venables says that all four partners in Transatlantic Inns had equal shares and under an indemnity agreement signed by them he should be reimbursed by Mr Kirby in full, or each should receive one quarter - pounds 36,000 - on the basis they were co-guarantors.

The case continues.