Woman who fell over ancient Roman site while "trying to wee" claims compensation

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View over the town and port - Dover, Kent, England
View over the town and port - Dover, Kent, England

A woman suffered head injuries after falling over a wall at a Roman site in Dover while looking for somewhere to "wee" after an evening of drinking.

Lisa Driver fell over the the wall and landed at the bottom of a steep bank at the Roman Painted House in Dover, Kent in the early hours of July 15, 2007. Source: PA.

The mother of two has now brought a legal action for substantial damages, as her injuries have left her with epilepsy.

She has no memory of the accident but her friend, Elaine Bristow, told London's High Court that they were not drunk although Mrs Driver had consumed five vodka and cokes - two at her home and the rest in three different pubs.

Dover Roman Painted House Trust and Dover District Council deny liability for Mrs Driver's injuries, claiming that she was a trespasser and the author of her own misfortune.

Mrs Bristow told Judge John Leighton Williams today that they went into the private car park at the closed site, while they waited for their taxi, as Mrs Driver wanted a "wee" and had been told she could not use the taxi office's facilities.

"When she went around the corner, I knew what she was going to do and I said 'you can't wee here' and we walked to the wall."

Mrs Bristow said she stopped Mrs Driver because she would get a fine if a police car came along and saw her urinating.

The Trust's counsel, Philip Williams, suggested that they had been drinking that Saturday since 7pm and the taxi office did not want them in there as they had been "on the pop" for six and a half hours.

Mrs Bristow said they had used those toilets later than that on previous occasions but there was a problem that evening which prevented the public using them.

Mr Williams: "I suggest you were drunk."

Mrs Bristow: "No, I won't accept that."

She said the vodkas had been single measures as doubles were too expensive and they could not afford them.

The court has heard there had been no other accidents since the three feet high wall was built almost 40 years ago although an estimated 600,000 visitors had passed through the site during that time. The wall was in good condition, painted white and readily visible.

The hearing, which is only concerned with liability at this stage, was adjourned until tomorrow.

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