Pricey tomato stunt

A former mayor has cost a city
council $38,000 after an attempt to jump over a human tomato backfired.

Jim Rodgers agreed to leap over a
Belfast City Council employee dressed as a tomato to promote a gourmet food

But Mr Rodgers was not as agile as
he thought he was.

As Press photographers looked on,
the mayor slipped on the wet grass and slammed his knee into Lorraine Mallon’s

She suffered a slipped disc and
brought a negligence case against the council.

A settlement was reached this week
in Belfast High Court in which the council agreed to the payout.

Mr Rodgers, now an Ulster Unionist
councillor, said at the time of the accident in 2007 that he was devastated for
squashing Ms Mallon.

“I have been absolutely
devastated over what has happened,” he said.

“There had been three false
runs and I think Lorraine thought this was just another one.

“I just caught the top of her
head and unfortunately I injured her.”

Mr Rodgers said he was confident he
would have been able to make the jump if he hadn’t slipped.

“I’m very fit and look after
myself, but it was just one of those unfortunate things.”


Belfast Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers attempts to jump over Belfast City Council employee Lorraine Mallon during a photo call in the Botanic gardens in Belfast, Northern Ireland to launch the ‘Garden Gourmet’ ex-travaganza.
Photo: Washington Post