The Scottish Mail on Sunday
Widow sues husband’s boss for £1m over death
A YOUNG widow is suing her late husband’s boss for £1million after his country house party for staff ended in tragedy.
Katie Barnes-Mycroft has accused jewellery entrepreneur Jason Allum of failing to safeguard revellers roaming around the garden of his property in Dorset after dark.
Her husband Tom Mycroft – a manager at Mr Allum’s jewellery chain Allum & Sidaway – fell over a low wall and plunged to his death.
He had been drinking from a free bar shortly before the accident in August 2015.
Moments earlier, he had texted his 22-year-old wife, who was six months pregnant with their first child, to say: ‘Love you.’
According to papers lodged with the High Court, Mr Mycroft, 24, attended the party in Shaftesbury and intended to camp there overnight.
Guests could wander between the bar, a buffet and a smoking area. Mrs Barnes-Mycroft’s barrister, Paul Dean, claims Mr Allum should have realised the wall was a potential danger and ensured it was fenced off, well lit or marked with a warning.
He said: ‘During the evening, Mr Mycroft consumed a quantity of alcohol which was readily available from the bar.
‘To the right of the front door there was a very low retaining wall, on the other side of which was a steep drop of 7ft on to a metal manhole cover.’
Mr Mycroft fell over the wall and his body was discovered by a colleague. Mr Dean said Mr Allum ‘owed lawful visitors to the premises a common duty of care’.
Mrs Barnes-Mycroft and daughter Molly are seeking more than £1 million for bereavement and lost earnings.
Defence papers from Mr Allum and his firmwere not available at court. Mr Allum did not return calls to his office in Dorchester and Mrs Barnes-Mycroft’s lawyers, Irwin Mitchell, said she was unavailable for comment.