Cambridge Court rules on student prank that ended in horrific injury

Zoah Hedges-Stocks 25 October 2011

‘Beer in, Brains Out’ – Cambridge Courts rules as one St. John’s students “reckless and dangerous behaviour” at a Cambridge nightclub leaves another with horrific injuries.

A second-year CompSci left considering the price of drunken behaviour at Cindies(Ballare) during Easter Term left student with broken pelvis, as a court awarded his victim nearly £4000 after he injured a fellow student in a drunken prank at Cindies last May.

Ben Shaw grabbed Emily Farbrace (incorrectly named as Emily Fairbrace in national newspapers) from behind and ran across the dance floor with her in his arms. Shaw tripped, and Ms Farbrace fell against the bar hard, smashing her pelvis. She was so badly injured that she could not sit her second year NatSci exams.

St John’s College sent Shaw down for a year, and Cambridge Magistrates Court found him guilty of common assault today (Tuesday 25th Oct). The court ordered him to perform 80 hours of community service and to pay £3,800 to Miss Farbrace to compensate for the ‘huge disadvantage’ that missing her exams might have on her future career prospects. In a victim impact statement that was read to the court, Miss Farbrace said: ‘I made it very clear by pushing against him and shouting that I didn’t want him to run with me in his arms. It was clear to any rational person that his behaviour was reckless.’

Both students were in the same year at St John’s but are thought to have a ‘difficult relationship’ with one another. Shaw wrote Farbrace a letter of apology, saying he was ‘devastated by what happened’ and ‘never meant to hurt anyone’.

Miss Farbrace is now back at Cambridge. Her father told the Telegraph “She’s very relieved at the outcome in court. She’s back in Cambridge. It’s been a difficult time for her.”

Zoah Hedges-Stocks