Hampshire Police Lose Appeal Over Damages

A Hampshire police officer who cut her thumb while dismantling a cannabis factory is to keep her damages award of nearly £5,000.

Kerry Ann Taylor was injured while disposing of the plants and equipment at a house in Southsea in September 2008.

It was hot with poor ventilation and, because she felt nauseous from the smell of the cannabis, she decided to open a window.

Not noticing it had been sealed, PC Taylor, who was wearing latex gloves to protect against skin irritation, pushed at the glass which broke and her right hand went through.

The officer sued Hampshire Police and a judge at Winchester County Court found in her favour.

He ruled that the police were in breach of their duty under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 in failing to provide Pc Taylor with thick gloves to protect against sharp edges, and said that had she been wearing them, the injury probably would not have occurred.

At the Court of Appeal in London today, two judges dismissed Hampshire Police's appeal against the finding on liability.

Lord Justice Elias said that there was an obligation to provide thick gloves at the time to protect against the risk of injury as the operation could involve her carrying out a whole range of tasks, not just removing the plants.

The force is now facing a legal bill of around £150,000.

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