Mrs Justice Whipple ordered the mother to pay compensation at the High Court in Birmingham
A mother whose 10-year-old son blinded a friend with a crazy golf club during his birthday party is facing a six figure compensation bill.
The birthday boy was furious he could not hole the ball when he took a ‘big swing like a professional golfer’ with the metal club.
It struck a nine year old school friend in the face, causing a devastating injury that left him blind in his left eye, the High Court heard.
A top judge has today ruled that the 10-year-old’s mother must now pay the injured boy damages after the incident at a crazy golf course on an amusement park.
She knew her son – who cannot be identified and was referred to only as J, was ‘boisterous and required firm handling’ said Mrs Justice Whipple.
Ordering the mother to pay damages to the injured boy – known as S – the judge said she ‘negligently’ failed to tell her son not to swing the club too high.
The exact compensation bill has yet to be calculated, but it is expected to be a six figure sum.
The mother has been ordered to pay compensation after the incident at Bosworth Water Park in Nuneaton
The court heard J and two of his school friends were celebrating his birthday at the Bosworth Water Park, near Nuneaton in 2013.
His mother was close by the crazy golf course with the family dog, but the first she about the incident was when she heard the other boy scream.
S’s parents said J was ‘volatile and unpredictable’ but the birthday boy’s parents insisted he was a ‘normal, well behaved, boy.’
J’s mother said she had asked the boys whether they had played crazy golf before and they all assured her that they had and knew what to do.
They had all been on a crazy golf party before and she warned them to ‘keep their distance whilst each player took their turn.’
A judge at Leicester County Court found last year that although J was sometimes impulsive, he was ‘not a dangerous child’.
He had never shown any signs of being violent, and Judge Alison Hampton said his mother had reasonably supervised the party.
But, overturning that ruling today, Mrs Justice Whipple, who heard the case in Birmingham, said the mother was aware of her son’s ‘character traits.’
It was reasonable to expect J’s mother to give a firm and clear instruction to J that he should not swing his club.
She told the court: ‘J required firm handling because he could be boisterous and impetuous. His mother knew this.
‘I conclude that it was reasonable to expect J’s mother to give a firm and clear instruction to J that he should not swing his club.
‘This was the very minimum which was required…J would not have swung his club if he had been told not to.
‘The failure to provide firm handling, in the form or a clear instruction to J, was a negligent failure by J’s mother’.
The water park’s managers, the Bosworth Water Trust, were also found liable to compensate S for his injuries.
The crazy golf course was ‘aimed at children’ and there should have been a sign in place, warning golfers against raising their clubs too high.
Only after the accident was a risk assessment carried out, a notice put up explaining the rules of the game, and metal putters replaced by rubber ones.
How the damages bill will be split between J’s mother and the trust has yet to be decided.