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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 October, 2003, 13:46 GMT 14:46 UK
Comic Davidson sued over fall
Jim Davidson
Jim Davidson is facing a claim for damages
Comedian Jim Davidson has appeared in court to face a damages claim from a woman who says she was hurt in a fall at a pier complex which he ran.

Mary Kyne, 52, alleges she was injured when she slipped on a patch of grass and tripped over uneven concrete at Wellington Pier in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

Mrs Kyne, from Newcastle upon Tyne, was deputy head teacher at a special school in Lowestoft, Suffolk, at the time of the accident.

Norwich County Court heard she had to give up work two years after the fall.

She is claiming compensation for personal injury and financial loss against Mr Davidson.

Mr Davidson was leasing the complex in May 1999 when the accident happened, but no longer runs it.

Mrs Kyne visited the pier with her husband Roger to see a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado.

Mary Kyne
Mary Kyne said the accident was "life-shattering"
She slipped and fell at the entrance to the pier as they left after the evening performance.

Describing the fall as "a life-shattering event", Mrs Kyne told the court that she had been wearing flat court shoes and had been taking care with her footing.

On Thursday she said: "It was very dark, if there was any lighting it was inadequate. I was walking slowly and looking down.

"We tried hard to see what was in front of us. I was very aware of how uneven the surface was underfoot."

She fell heavily on her back, fracturing a vertebra and eventually had to give up her job because of back pain.

Possible '500,000 claim'

Mrs Kyne's barrister, Richard Roberts, told the court that as the leaseholder Mr Davidson had failed in his duty of care to visitors due to a lack of maintenance at the attraction.

Mr Roberts alleged that Mr Davidson was only interested in running pantomimes and theatre shows and did not care about the upkeep of the structure at the ageing pier.

Arriving at court on Thursday morning, Mr Davidson said the compensation claim had risen to as much as 500,000.

He said he would have to foot the entire bill for the action personally, should he lose, as the insurance company which covered the complex had since been dissolved.

The case continues.

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