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Ex-lover of woman paralysed in bed fall ‘laughed before realising she was hurt’

UK News | Published:

John Marshall told the High Court he saw Claire Busby roll backwards off the bed with her feet in the air ‘in slow motion’.

Claire Busby

The former lover of a woman left paralysed after she was “catapulted” from her bed during sex has told the High Court he laughed at her fall – before realising she was seriously hurt.

John Marshall said he saw Claire Busby roll backwards off the bed with her feet in the air “in slow motion”, as she shifted her position while the pair were having sex.

In a witness statement put before the court on Tuesday, the 55-year-old, from Alloa, Scotland, said: “I didn’t see how she landed and at first I laughed, not realising that she had hurt herself.

“I was expecting her to get up and when she didn’t I laughed and said ‘get up’, but she said that she had hurt herself.

“When I got up to look over the end of the bed she was laying on her side with her arm underneath her and I thought that she had hurt her arm.

“She said she could not feel her arms and legs, I thought she was joking and I laughed. She told me again that she had hurt herself and to call an ambulance.

“This was the worst thing that had ever happened to me in my life and affected me very badly.”

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Ms Busby, 46, of Maidenhead, Berkshire, suffered a serious injury to her spine after falling from the bed in August 2013.

The businesswoman claims the bed was in a “defective state” at the time of her accident and is taking legal action against Berkshire Bed Company, trading as Beds Are Uzzz, which supplied it.

The firm denies liability for Ms Busby’s injuries and is contesting the case, arguing the bed was properly assembled.

The court previously heard the bed was one of five delivered to Ms Busby’s then home, Rosewood House in Ockwells Road, in August 2013 when she was renovating the property.

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Ms Busby, who used to work in the property industry, was injured a week after the bed’s delivery.

She told the court on Monday she was kneeling in the middle of the bed and had just finished performing a sex act when she decided to move position.

She said she then “swung her legs” round from under her to face the top of the bed before laying backwards – at which point, she claims, she was “catapulted” from the bed and landed on her head.

Ms Busby alleges that the two divans which made up the base of the bed were not properly fastened together and two “gliders” – or feet – were missing from the end of the bed, creating a height difference between one end and the other.

Her barrister Winston Hunter QC said she expected the mattress to support her weight as she lay back on the bed, but it failed to and she continued moving “backwards and downwards”.

Mr Marshall said that he did not recall any clips holding the two parts of the bed together and he was able to push them apart to leave enough space for the paramedics to get Ms Busby on to a stretcher.

Lawyers for the bed company argue it was properly assembled at the time of delivery and that, even if the two gliders were missing by the time of the accident, that would not have caused the bed to lose balance in the way suggested by Ms Busby.

Neil Block QC, for the firm, said: “It is overwhelmingly likely that, whatever her actions, they were too close to the edge of the bed and she simply lost balance and toppled backwards.”

The hearing continues.

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