By Duncan Mackay

Ryan Cockbill profileApril 10 - Ryan Cockbill, who represented Britain at last year's Paralympics in London, has lost a multi-million pound compensation claim, it was announced today. 

Cockbill broke his neck after telling friends "watch me go" before attempting a "dive or belly flop" into a paddling pool when he was 16

He had been drinking beforehand and had consumed a can of Scrumpy Jack cider and two bottles of beer after celebrating the end of his GCSEs more than six years ago. 

The teenager from Wolverhampton broke his neck when his head hit the bottom of the pool at the home of his former primary school headmaster, David Riley.

Cockbill, who is now aged 22, sued Riley following the accident claiming he should have stopped the under-age teenagers at the party from drinking so much.

The High Court heard that Riley had supplied 12 bottles of Budweiser and 12 bottles of Vodka Kick for the party and had not interfered when young guests also brought their own alcohol with them.

Cockbill's barrister, Geoffrey Tattersall, argued Riley should have "stopped alcohol being brought in" and done more to prevent "boisterousness".

But Timothy Horlock QC, for Riley, inisisted there was nothing wrong with responsible teenagers, many of whom he had known since their infancy, being allowed to drink modest amounts of alcohol under supervision at a private party.

He claimed Riley had made efforts to "calm things down" when he thought "the boys were getting a bit boisterous" by getting them to eat some food from the barbecue.

Ryan Cockbill shooting at London 2012Ryan Cockbill competing at London 2012

A judge rejected the claim for injuries Cockbill sustained and said that adults who let underage teenagers drink at parties they throw are not creating a "foreseeable risk" of accidents.

"Nor do I consider that the fact that the guests were allowed to consume modest quantities of alcohol made the risk of significant injury foreseeable," he said.

"Mr Riley had bought a modest quantity, no more than about one bottle of Vodka Kick or bottle of Budweiser, for each participant.

"But there is ample evidence that guests brought their own supply, typically a pack of four cans of lager, and that Mr Riley took no steps to centralise what stocks there were.

"It was foreseeable that someone would lose their footing and suffer minor injury.

"It was not foreseeable that someone would attempt to carry out a dive or belly-flop and thus suffer grave injury.

"The danger of diving into even a swimming pool of uncertain depth, let alone a paddling pool is obvious to any adult and indeed to most children old enough to have learned to dive."

Cockbill had taken up shooting after the accident and competed in two events at London 2012, finishing in 21st place in the R4 10m air rifle standing mixed SH2 and 17th in the R5 10m air rifle prone mixed SH2.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]