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A legal ding dong as teen bell-ringer sues church

A BELL-ringer who thought he was going to die when he was flung into the air during a practice session is suing a church for damages.

Steven Tomsett, 18, broke his ankles, damaged his right leg and injured his lower back when he was sent flying.

‘I was pulled quickly up into the air and just remember looking down and seeing everybody’s faces looking up at me,’ said the trainee engineer (pictured).

‘It was terrifying and was one of those moments when you think you are going to die. I thought, “Is this really happening?”

‘At about 20ft up I let go and came crashing down and then heard somebody shouting for me to let go. The pain I felt was just indescribable. I was in absolute agony.

‘It’s fair to say I was using language that shouldn’t probably be used in church.’

The fire service rescued the teenager from the tower of St Helen’s Church in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. He had to be winched to the ground, as a stretcher could not be taken up the spiral staircase to the bell-ringing room.

Mr Tomsett is making a personal injury claim against the church and says the incident in January has left him in ‘constant pain’.

‘This whole thing was avoidable if the bells had been maintained properly,’ he said. ‘I’m the only one who has suffered. I lost my job, I’m in constant pain and now the church has said what happened is not their fault. It doesn’t seem right.’

The church was asked to comment.