An overweight detective with fibromyalgia who felt humiliated when a higher-ranking officer said she might feel better if she stopped ‘drinking gallons of coke’ was awarded £10,000 in compensation yesterday.
Detective Constable Kerry Moth, 46, was told to take more responsibility over her diet, an employment tribunal in Exeter heard.
Detective Sergeant Daryl Marvelly said if colleagues saw she was making an effort to lose weight they would have more respect for her, the hearing was told.
DC Moth, who joined Devon and Cornwall police in 2003, suffers from fibromyalgia – a chronic condition defined by widespread pain and fatigue.
Lawyer Mark Ley-Morgan, for the police, said that on average she had 76 days off work per year over a 10-year period.
The tribunal ruled in March that DC Moth had been discriminated against on the grounds of disability.
Detective Constable Kerry Moth, 46, felt ‘humiliated’ when she was told to take more responsibility over her diet, an employment tribunal in Exeter heard (file photo)
In July 2018 over lunch at Barnstaple police station (file photo above) DC Moth told DS Marvelly that she was ‘fed up’ with people assuming her weight contributed to her condition
WHAT IS FIBROMYALGIA?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition defined by widespread pain and fatigue.
It affects up to 2.7 per cent of people worldwide, with three women suffering for every one man, studies suggest.
In July 2019 the BBC’s Kirsty Young announced that she was stepping down as host of Desert Island Discs due to ‘health problems’, after taking time off the year previous due to the condition.
Fibromyalgia is often triggered by a trauma, such as a car accident or childbirth, as well as infections. Why this occurs is unclear.
The discomfort tends to be felt as aches and burning from head-to-toe.
And the fatigue ranges from feeling sleepy to the exhaustion of having the flu.
Severe sufferers are often unable to work or socialise.
The pain can be worse at some times than others and may change location, such as becoming more severe in parts of the body that are used the most.
Other symptoms can include headaches; IBS; diarrhoea or constipation; poor concentration; dizziness; allergies and stimuli sensitivity, such as to light or heat.
Studies suggest the average patient waits five years to be diagnosed, which is thought to be due to X-rays and other medical tests not picking it up.
It is generally defined as pain that lasts for more than three months and affects 11 or more out of 18 tender points when pressed.
Treatment aims to relieve pain and aid sleep.
Source: Fibromyalgia Action UK
Mr Ley-Morgan said the force was not uncaring and had made a lot of adjustments for the officer who was ‘a very useful member of the organisation’.
In July 2018 over lunch at Barnstaple police station DC Moth told DS Marvelly that she was ‘fed up’ with people assuming her weight contributed to her condition.
The tribunal previously heard that in February 2019 Professor John Harrison from the force’s Occupational Health department delivered a report on how the illness affected DC Moth’s …….