A BOY who suffered serious eye injuries when another youngster threw a stone is battling for compensation from Kirklees Council for failing to fence off a demolition site.
Tashan Gabriel's case raises crucial legal issues on the liability of local authorities and others to accident victims.
In an Appeal Court battle, Kirklees Council insists it cannot be blamed for the youngster's "unforseeable" injuries.
Tashan was aged six when disaster struck in July, 1997, as he walked past a building site near the Phoenix pub at Bracken Square, Brackenhall.
Tashan's counsel Mr Benjamin Caswell said demolition of a row of old people's bungalows had left rubble lying around.
The unfenced site had proved an irresistable lure for local children. Youngsters were making mud bombs and throwing stones at each other on the site.
As Tashan walked past, a stray stone seriously injured him in the left eye.
His lawyers sued Kirklees Council claiming the accident had been the "forseeable" result of failure to fence off the site.
The pub, which had been damaged in a riot in 1996, was later demolished.
Judge Finnerty dismiss- ed the boy's damages claim in September last year.
At the appeal yesterday, Mr Caswell argued the demolition site was "inherently dangerous" and the council should reasonably have foreseen it would be an attraction to children. Failure to fence it off amounted to a "breach of duty".
Mr Anthony Goldstaub QC, for Kirklees Council, insisted: "It wasn't forseeable that anything of this kind might occur."
He said to award Tashan compensation for his injuries, would be to place an impossible burden on the local authority.
He argued a ruling in Tashan's favour would mean homeowners would be under a legal duty to fence off gardens or gravel drives to ensure children trespassing on their property did not throw stones.
Lord Justice Ward, Lord Justice Jonathan Parker and Mr Justice Moses reserved judgement to a later, unspecified, date.