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Girl takes foyer to court after plunge

PUBLISHED: 18:00 22 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:31 03 March 2010

AN IPSWICH girl who was seriously injured when she was forced to jump from a third floor window is seeking High Court damages.

Jennifer Bluett, now 21, almost died when she jumped from the window at the Star Lane premises to flee three people who had broken into her room.

AN IPSWICH girl who was seriously injured when she was forced to jump from a third floor window is seeking High Court damages.

Jennifer Bluett, now 21, almost died when she jumped from the window at the Star Lane premises to flee three people who had broken into her room.

She was just 16 at the time and was left with severe multiple injuries and remained in a deep coma for some time.

Four years on, a writ has been issued against Suffolk County Council, Foyer for Ipswich, Anglia Housing Group, Wherry Housing Association and Malcolm Markwell trading as Nighthawk Security Services to seek compensation against the injuries she received.

The writ issued at London's High Court said that the accident happened on January 3 1998 when Richard Marjoram, Sarah Davey and Joanne Blowers broke down the door to Jennifer's room.

She feared for her life and jumped from the window, plunging 40ft on to the concrete floor below.

Marjoram was later jailed for a year and Davey was given 40 hours community service after both were convicted of causing grievous bodily harm. Blowers was sentenced to 80 hours community service after being convicted of affray.

The writ states that she suffered a severe brain injury and fractures to her back, left foot, nose and teeth and was on a ventilator for seven days after the incident and remained in hospital until July.

In March she was moved to Papworth Hospital but nearly died several times during the journey because of problems with her windpipe and a metal stent had to be inserted.

The Evening Star closely tracked Jennifer's recovery. Two years ago she was still registered as severely disabled and spent most of her time in a wheelchair.

She was unable to walk more than 150 metres because she was walking on her heels, unable to bend her toes.

Now she is incontinent, has persistent back pain and is forgetful. Although she achieved her dream and gave birth to a son in September 2000 she is heavily dependent on her partner James Robinson.

The writ said that her parents had agreed with Suffolk County Council that the council would provide accommodation for her from July 27 1994 and said the council had a duty of care to advise and befriend her.

She was given a room on the third floor of Foyer for Ipswich from December 22 1997 but the writ said that the council negligently failed to advise and befriend her, failed to warn her of the dangers of living there, to take measures for her safety and failed to ensure the property was suitable and safe for her.

Anglia Housing, Foyer for Ipswich and Wherry Housing Association are accused of negligently failing to employ proper security agents, failing to have a zero tolerance drug policy, failing to ensure that in her room she was safe from intrusion or harm and failing to protect her from life threatening assault.

They are also accused of failing to prevent unwelcome and uninvited non-residents from entering her room, failing to give her a ground floor room despite knowing she had a pronounced fear of heights, failing to eject unwelcome visitors, failing to heed a previous assault and failing to stop Marjoram, Davey and Blowers from breaking down a locked, reinforced fire door to her room.

Markwell and Nighthawk Security are said to have failed to provide adequate security staff to have allowed large groups of youths into the premises when this was dangerous, to have failed to ensure a zero tolerance drugs policy was in operation and to have been to blame for Jennifer having to take evasive action by jumping through the window.

No date has been fixed yet for the hearing of the case.

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