Legal Dispute Over Olympic Torch Ends In Compromise

Duncan Graham during the Olympic torch relay

Duncan Graham during the Olympic torch relay

A legal dispute over the ownership of an Olympic torch came to a conclusion on Monday, without reaching the courtroom.

Duncan Graham was one of two islanders chosen to carry the Olympic flame around Cornwall.

He was nominated for the honour by the Five Islands School football club and after the event, they bought the £200 torch.

The club committee says there’s a bank statement to prove that they own it.

But Duncan maintained the club bought it for him and offered it to him as a gift, in recognition of his many years of voluntary work coaching the youngsters.

He offered to reimburse them for the cost.

Legal proceedings were started, despite the two sides appearing to have the same end-goal – both the committee and Duncan wanted to display the torch in the Sports Hall.

The case was due to go before a Truro court on Monday, but the judged asked them to go away and reach a compromise.

Both sides eventually agreed to give it to a third party, the Five Islands school.

Duncan said he’s pleased with the compromise and that the torch will remain in the possession of the Five Islands School.

He says those involved in the claim didn’t experience the wonderful time that he and his family enjoyed during the Torch Relay and those memories will stay with him forever.

Duncan added that the torch will always be his in spirit and he looks forward to seeing it on display, which was his intention from the beginning.

Club secretary Helen Glenn says she’s also happy with the outcome, although she feels this could have been achieved a year ago.

Helen says the lesson is to keep communicating, even in such a small community, and take personal feelings out of the dispute.

She says people “need to think rationally and reach a sensible agreement.”

Both sides will be splitting the legal costs, paying £360 each.

Duncan says he agreed to this reluctantly to reach a speedy conclusion, and his fees have been paid for by a third-party donation.

Similarly, Helen says the club’s share will come from money donated specifically to fight the case, and not from the general club funds.

The torch was handed over to the school yesterday.



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