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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 October 2007, 20:48 GMT 21:48 UK
Leapfrogging mayor bruises tomato
By Bryce McGarel
BBC News

Mr Rodgers' knee struck Lorraine Mallon on the back of her head

The Lord Mayor of Belfast has apologised to a council worker left with back injuries after he tried to leapfrog her during a photoshoot.

Lorraine Mallon suffered a slipped disc when Jim Rodgers' knee accidently hit her head as he attempted to vault her.

Ms Mallon had been dressed as a tomato to launch a gourmet garden event in Botanic Gardens last month.

The Ulster Unionist councillor said he attempted the act of athleticism at the request of photographers.

"I have been absolutely devastated over what has happened," he said.

"There had been three false runs and I think Lorraine thought this was just another one.

Jim Rodgers and Lorraine Mallon
Jim Rodgers with Lorraine Mallon

"I just caught the top of her head and unfortunately I injured her."

Mr Rodgers said he was confident he could have made the vault.

He said: "I'm very fit and look after myself, but it was just one of those unfortunate things.

"I have kept in regular contact with her and my thoughts and prayers are with her.

"I just hope now that she makes a speedy and full recovery."

Ms Mallon, who works for the arts section of Belfast City Council's development department, has been unable to return to work since the accident happened on 4 September.

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