Time Team jouster died due to failure with equipment

PUBLISHED: 14:26 02 February 2011 | UPDATED: 16:20 03 February 2011

05 paul allen

05 paul allen

A MAN from Heydon died in a freak jousting accident when because his equipment didn't give him enough protection, an inquest heard last week.

A MAN from Heydon died in a freak jousting accident when because his equipment didn’t give him enough protection, an inquest heard last week.

Paul Allen, who was 54, was taking part in a re-enactment of a medieval joust in 2007 when a splinter from his opponent's 7ft wooden lance speared his eye and brain.

He was filming the joust for the Channel 4 series Time Team, and was only offered the chance to take part at the last minute.

It was found at the inquest, in Kettering, Northamptonshire, that Mr Allen's helmet had slits which were too large, meaning it was easier for the lance to get through.

Neither he nor his opponent Adam Plant had no experience of jousting, even though Mr Allen travelled the country performing historical re-enactments.

Coroner Anne Pember, who recorded a narrative verdict, also found that Mr Allen's shield was strapped to his arm and shoulder so that it failed to adequately protect his face.

He was airlifted to hospital after the accident at Rockingham Castle in Northamptonshire with the splinter still stuck in his eye, five inches inside his head.

He died a week later from cardio-respiratory failure and a severe brain injury.

Mrs Pember’s verdict said: "Paul Anthony Allen was a 54-year-old married man, a very experienced rider who was passionate about historical re-enactment.

"On the September 13, 2007 he was engaged in a re-enactment concerning Edward III recreation of a round table of knights in the mid-14th century at Rockingham Castle.

"Paul Allen, dressed as a 14th century knight together with shield and lance, cantered his horse in opposition to Adam Plant.

"Mr Plant performed a breaking lance joust which contacted Mr Allen's shield and then tragically part of the broken lance travelled upwards towards the site of his helm piercing Mr Allen's left eye through to his brain."

Footage of the joust was shown in the episode of Time Team, at the request of Mr Allen's family.

To see a video of Mr Allen's funeral, in which thousands attended dressed in Medieval clothes, scroll down.

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