Former Grays détective wins damages after “prank at work”

A former detective who “grossly” exaggerated her injury after falling in a police station prank has won damages.

Rebecca Jenkins, 33, was at Grays police station in 2012 when she slipped after a fellow officer put her phone in a ceiling void.

Miss Jenkins said the fall caused long-term pain and restriction of movement.

She sued Essex Police for £500,000 but the Central London County Court judge said she had not been “candid” in evidence and awarded her £10,825.

The court heard Sgt Alan Blakesley hid her phone in an attempt to “boost team morale” and watched her clamber up to retrieve it when it rang.

But Miss Jenkins slipped during her descent, banging her left knee on her desk, said Judge Charles Freeland QC.

Miss Jenkins, of Wickford, Essex, was formally dismissed by Essex Police in October. She had returned to work after the accident but never returned after going “off sick” in 2014.

She was seeking over £500,000 from Essex Police, alleging they bore legal responsibility for Sgt Blakesley’s “foolhardy” act.

The court heard Sgt Alan Blakesley was trying to boost morale after a stressful period

Miss Jenkins was captured by covert video surveillance which showed her going about her daily life, crouching down to look at shoes in a shop whilst out shopping in high heels in 2016, the court had previously heard.

Judge Freeland said: “She has grossly exaggerated her symptoms and has not made a reliable witness.

“She chose to leave the police force when she was fit for all except confrontational duties.

“I conclude that she now functions extremely well and has exaggerated her symptoms.”

Judge Freeland said Miss Jenkins had probably recovered from her physical symptoms within two years of the accident.

She said there was no evidence that Miss Jenkins had been “targeted” for pranks, nor was there a culture of pranking at the police station.

The court heard that Miss Jenkins earlier rejected a £50,000 pre-trial offer to settle her claim.

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