Northern Ireland

Boy partially blinded by fairy wand loses High Court case

wand Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The High Court ruled that the school had appropriately assessed the fairy wand and supervised the rehearsal

The family of a boy who was partially blinded after being hit in the eye with a fairy wand by a classmate in school has lost a High Court battle for damages.

The accident happened in 2009 during a play dress rehearsal at the County Londonderry school.

The family had sued the Western Education and Library Board (WELB) for alleged negligence.

A judge ruled that the school had appropriately supervised the rehearsal.

The judge told the court that he backed the family's account that the child had lost sight in his left eye because he was struck by a girl holding a wand, who was said to have been casting a spell at the time.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been onstage with almost 200 other pupils getting ready for a performance.

However, the judge held that teachers had properly assessed the wand and dismissed the claim.

He said: "I do not consider the plaintiff has established any fault on the part of the defendant."

The judge praised the boy and his mother for the honesty of their evidence, but added there was "overwhelming evidence" that the girl who was holding the fairy wand was "timid and not likely to behave in an inappropriate way".