heavily criticised the bosses of a riding school, and their legal advisors for forcing an 11-year-old girl to give evidence in a Court of Session compensation action against them.
Megan Robertson was in tears before going into the witness box and she clutched her teddy bear Ben as she gave over two hours of evidence about the day she was thrown and smashed her arm at Wester Deanhead Riding School, Roscobie, Dunfermline Fife.
Megan, of Abernethy View, St Madoes, Perthshire told the court the accident happened when her horse, Puzzle, was spooked by two Jack Russell terriers snapping at its heels in the riding arena.
Instructor Elaine Marshall who was taking the class, denied the dogs had been allowed into the ring and claimed Megan fell off when the horse turned suddenly.
The Judge, Lord MacPhail, who had asked Megan if Ben should also take the oath in a bid to put her at ease, said he preferred her version of events and awarded her £7,500 compensation against Horses in Scotland Ltd who own the school.
Glen Millar said: “I think it reflects very badly on the defenders, and their legal team that they made an 11 year old girl go through the ordeal of giving evidence in the Court of Session on the basis of a misguided hope that she may not prove her case.
“Megan was cuddling her teddy bear throughout, but she was a very good witness, and we are delighted she won her case.
“The judgment sends out a warning to all other organisations involved in organising sporting activities for children that making money cannot come at the expenses of Health and Safety.”
Megan’s Mum Lynne said: “I am ecstatic that Megan won her case, but very angry at what she had to go through.
“This was never about the money. It was all about their attitude. They never even phoned to find out how Megan was, and then they tried to say she was lying about the dogs.
“We told Megan she didn’t have to go into court, but she said she wanted everyone to know that she was telling the truth.
“She got a bit nervous on the day and she was in tears, but she was still determined to go through with it.
“My husband and I couldn’t even sit with her because we were witnesses but her grand-dad was allowed to sit at the foot of the witness box.
The court was told that Megan was off school for three weeks, and that her mum and dad, Clayton a fireman, had to write her homework for her while her arm was in plaster for another three months.
She now has her own horse Dustin, and her compensation is going into an account to pay for his upkeep and buy him a new coat.
Mr Robertson raised the action in his daughter’s name because of her age. It was originally against Jackie Kemp trading as Wester Deanhead Riding School, but it proceeded against Horses in Scotland Ltd who own the school.