Stephen Tame, 29, from East Bergholt, Suffolk, fell from a gantry while working in a bicycle warehouse in January 2002. Although he made a full physical recovery after two years of specialist treatment, he claims that the accident led to severe sexual disinhibition, which is destroying his marriage.
His wife, Sarah (photo on the right), 30, has had to spend nights away from him “to get some respite”, and he has resorted to using pornography and visiting a prostitute.
Mrs Tame, who got married to her husband eight months before the accident, was also shocked to find that he had been unfaithful to her, with a 57-year-old woman who attended the same church.
Mr Tame’s lawyers say that his behaviour has become rude and physically aggressive.
He is suing his former employers, Professional Cycling Marketing, for damages, through his wife. In September last year judgment was entered in favour of Mr Tame on the basis of 100 per cent liability. Judge Michael Harris must now decide how much compensation to award.
Mrs Tame, who is now living with her parents, wept as she told the court of her reaction to her husband’s infidelity. “I was in total shock. It was horrible. I was in turmoil. We love each other, but the love is slowly going.
“When I left we were not living apart as such; I was just having a respite. My head was in turmoil.
“We both try to pray every day and we try to pray together. The church has been supporting us and they are trying to keep us together. They tell us not to make any harsh decisions.”
She added that her husband’s carers had advised her to sleep in a separate bed to avoid encouraging his high sex drive.
Asked by the defence whether she had separated from Mr Tame to increase the value of the compensation claim, she said: “That was never my intention in leaving. I was becoming mentally ill because of the whole issue of the accident.”
She is seeing a counsellor and taking antidepressants.
Bill Braithwaite, QC, Mr Tame’s barrister, said: “Mr Tame has a presentation which can be described as ‘fatuous euphoria’ and has been significantly disinhibited sexually, and a significant question has arisen in relation to Mr and Mrs Tame’s marriage. The sexual side of their life is pretty troubled and unfortunately reveals a visit to a prostitute recently.
“Mrs Tame appears to have left her husband on several occasions, the most recent being last month.”
Mr Tame’s legal advisers have based their compensation claim on the belief that he will not be able to work again, and on the assumption that his marriage will collapse within a year under the strain of his inflated sex drive.
Counsel for the defence are arguing that Mr Tame will eventually be able to work for up to 16 hours a week, and that his marriage may survive, which would lower the cost of his care. The hearing continues at the High Court in London.