Devon detective wins £10k payout after boss told her to stop drinking gallons of Coca-Cola – Devon Live

Devon detective wins £10k payout after boss told her to stop drinking gallons of Coca-Cola – Devon Live

A Barnstaple Police Officer has just been awarded £10,000 in compensation after winning an employment tribunal against Devon and Cornwall Police earlier this year.

Detective Constable Kerry Moth suffers from fibromyalgia – a long-term condition causing widespread pain and chronic tiredness, trigeminal neuralgia – severe shooting pain in the jaw area and visceral hyperalgesia – a painful sensitivity to ‘intestinal activity.’

In March, Employment Judge Alastair Smail ruled that Devon and Cornwall Police breached sections 20, 15 and 26 of the Equality Act 2010 when she was treated unfairly due to disabilities.

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The force ‘failed to make reasonable adjustments to attendance management’ for DC Moth, subjected her to ‘unfavourable treatment’ and she was ‘harassed’ by comments about her weight from her boss, Detective Sergeant Daryl Marvelly.

DS Marvelly was a newly promoted Sergeant in his first management role when he told DC Moth that losing weight would ‘make her life easier’ and ‘if people saw she was making an effort to lose weight they would may be have more respect and empathy for her.’

(Image: Phil Sobey)

Later, during a mediated meeting following a ‘collapse in the relationship’ between DS Marvelly and DC Moth, the former suggested DC Moth’s health was being negatively impacted by drinking ‘gallons of coca cola.’

Employment Judge Small noted that while the comment was not made in ‘bad faith,’ it was ‘unprofessional’ and it ‘humiliated’ DC Moth, who said her weight struggles are due to medication she takes to manage her conditions.

The tribunal also found that DC Moth was being held to the same absence policies as non-disabled employees, and failed to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ or take advice from Occupational Health into account.

From 2017 to 26 February 2020, DC Moth has 12 ‘periods’ of absence, which totalled to 179 days, triggering a formal ‘attendance management action plan.’

This action plan included ‘personal responsibility to demonstrate progress towards the job related fitness test,’ ‘take responsibility to improve general health and weight,’ ‘comply with the attendance management policy’ and ‘sustain and improve level of attendance at work.’

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it’s thought to be related to abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain and changes in the way the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and nerves) processes pain messages carried around the body.

It’s also suggested that some people are more likely to develop fibromyalgia because of genes inherited from their parents.

In many cases, the condition appears to be triggered by a physically or emotionally stressful event, such as:

  • an injury or infection
  • giving birth
  • having an operation
  • the breakdown of a relationship
  • the death of a loved one

Information taken from the NHS website.

Additionally, a document she wrote detailing how her conditions impact her ‘deployability’ was lost by her former boss, DS Bates.

DC Moth wanted a force issued laptop to work from home, but DC Marvelly said he did not support …….


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