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Monday, 13 November, 2000, 15:05 GMT
Sleepwalker wins 1.35m damages

Stuart Miller fell from a fourth floor flat in Reading
A schoolboy who sleepwalked out of a window on the fourth floor of a tower block has been awarded 1.35m in damages.

Stuart Miller, now 16, was paralysed from the waist down after the accident in the early hours of 2 September 1993.

Reading Borough Council, who owned the tower block where Stuart lived with his mother admitted liability in the High Court.

The boy's counsel, Christopher Wilson-Smith QC, told Judge Inglis stops should have been installed on the bedroom window to prevent it being opened by children beyond the point necessary for ventilation.

Stuart, who is now wheelchair-bound, was present in court with his mother Deborah.

Mr Wilson-Smith said Mrs Miller and Stuart, of Whitley Wood, Reading, now live in specially adapted housing trust accommodation.

Sensible settlement

The judge, who was asked to approve the agreed damages sum, described the settlement as "sensible".

After the hearing, Stuart's solicitor Paul Paxton said the teenager and his mother were happy a settlement had been reached.

He said: "Stuart now has a secure financial future."

Sleepwalking is a sleep disorder most commonly affecting children, and is usually outgrown by the teenage years.

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