Man thrown off Welsh Office car wins 7,879 pounds

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The Independent Online
A WELSH language campaigner was yesterday awarded pounds 7,879 High Court damages against the Welsh Office for injuries he suffered when he was thrown from the bonnet of a moving car taking a minister away from a demonstration.

Judge Kenneth Zucker QC, ruled that the driver, Alan Thomas, a senior press officer at the Welsh Office, was 80 per cent liable for the accident outside the Polytechnic of Wales in Treforest, Pontypridd, in April 1986.

He said that the campaigner, Steffan Webb, 33, of Oakfield Street, Roath, Cardiff, was 20 per cent to blame for the accident in which he fractured his left ankle and right wrist.

The judge ruled that Mr Webb intended to sit in front of Mr Thomas's car and was forced on to the vehicle by Mr Thomas driving forward.

Mr Thomas could and should have stopped once he found Mr Webb on his bonnet, however he got there. Instead he accelerated and carried Mr Webb a considerable distance before he fell off.

'This was a further and greater breach of his duty of care. It plainly hazarded Mr Webb's safety and there was no conceivable justification for it,' the judge said.

A spokesman for the Welsh Office said later that it was considering the judgment.