Jousting death man 'wore unsuitable helmet'

A man who died during a jousting re-enactment was wearing an unsuitable helmet and had his shield set up wrongly, an inquest heard today.

Paul Anthony Allen died after a splinter penetrated his eye socket as the event was being filmed for Channel 4's Time Team programme.

The 54-year-old, of Chishill Road, Heyden, Cambridgeshire, died on September 20 2007 at University Hospital Coventry and Warwick.

He had been involved in the re-enactment at Rockingham Castle in Corby, Northamptonshire, seven days earlier.

Mr Allen, who had never jousted before despite practising with a lance and shield, was hit by the splinter from a balsa wood tip designed to break on impact with the opponent's shield for safety, an inquest at Kettering Magistrates' Court heard today.

It broke off, as it was supposed to, but a small piece of wood flew up through the eye-slit of his helmet, penetrating chainmail before

hitting his eye socket.

Digital Festival shining spotlight on Leeds’s technical prowess