Woman broke her back on date at Hemel Hempstead climbing venue

12-657    XC at Jarman Park, Hemel Hempstead. ENGPNL00120120724172434
12-657 XC at Jarman Park, Hemel Hempstead. ENGPNL00120120724172434

A woman who broke her back falling from a bouldering wall whilst on an internet date at a climbing centre is fighting for £300,000 in compensation.

Emma Jane Maylin was on her third date with a man she met on the web when she came to grief.

She is suing the Dacorum Sports Trust, which runs the XC climbing and skate park in Hemel Hempstead.

The 29-year-old, of Devon Road, Watford, plummeted 14 feet from the wall and landed on her backside on January 11, 2014, London’s High Court heard last week.

The former coroner’s 
officer, who works as a civilian for the Met Police, fractured a disc in her back and spent two weeks in hospital.

She met up with her date at the climbing centre but it was the first time she had tried bouldering - a form of rock climbing.

Miss Maylin was off work for six months and had to 
cancel a family holiday to 
Dubai because of the accident.

She has ongoing difficulties, with tasks such as driving, exercise and wearing high heels proving challenging.

Her lawyers say she has 
also suffered psychological 
injuries including post-traumatic stress and depression

Her barrister, Catherine Foster, told Judge Martin McKenna: “Dacorum Sports Trust failed to provide basic safety information to Miss Maylin to enable her to make herself safe.

“Nobody on behalf of the defendant took any trouble at all to draw to her attention the particular risks inherent in the activity of bouldering.”

The sports trust denies 
liability for Miss Maylin’s 
accident. Barrister Peter Burns argued that bouldering involves an ‘obvious risk’.

But in the witness box, Miss Maylin said: “I don’t take risks.”

If she had been warned of the dangers she ‘either wouldn’t have done it or stayed very low to the ground mats’, she told the judge.

The mats were so thick she believed they ‘would take the impact’ of any fall, she added.

“I was reaching for the top yellow block with my left hand and it was my right foot that slipped,” said Miss Maylin.

“If somebody had spent five to ten minutes with me to make me aware a little bit more, I would have followed their rules, I would have 
taken their advice.”

Judge McKenna has now reserved his decision on Miss Maylin’s claim and will give his ruling at a later date.

Her lawyers confirmed outside court that she is seeking damages of up to £300,000.