Overweight detective wins £10,000 for feeling humiliated after boss her to stop 'drinking gallons of coke'

Overweight detective wins £10,000 for feeling humiliated after boss her to stop 'drinking gallons of coke'
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Luke Ridley

By Luke Ridley

Published: 07/12/2021

- 10:27

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 11:40

DC Moth from Devon and Cornwall police said she only drank zero calorie and decaffeinated coke and that she was being discriminated against because of her disability.

An overweight detective 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.

an employment tribunal in Exeter heard that Detective Constable Kerry Moth, 46, was told to take more responsibility over her diet.

DC Moth, who joined Devon and Cornwall police in 2003, suffers from fibromyalgia - a chronic condition defined by widespread pain and fatigue.The tribunal ruled in March that DC Moth had been discriminated against on the grounds of disability.

Lawyer Mark Ley-Morgan, who represented the police, said that on average DC Moth had taken off 76 days per year over a 10-year period.

Mr Ley-Morgan also said the force was not uncaring and had made a lot of adjustments for DC Moth who was 'a very useful member of the organisation'. He explained that Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that requires people who have it to to learn to live with it and modify their lifestyle.

The tribunal previously heard that in February 2019 Professor John Harrison from the force's Occupational Health department created a report on DC Moth's illness affected her ability to do her work. He stated in the unlikely event of a violent situation, DC Moth would not have been able to protect herself or been able to come to the aid of another officer. He also stated that she was not fit to undergo a fitness test and therefore could not undergo officer safety training.

DC Moth said her weight was not a result of her diet but due to the medication she had to take for her chronic condition.

DS Marvelly said he did not dispute that but claimed he saw her regularly drink 'gallons of Coca Cola'.

However, DC Moth said she only downed zero calorie and decaffeinated coke.

The employment tribunal judge, Alastair Smail, said DS Marvelly was not acting in bad faith but the conversations 'did have the effect of humiliating her'.

He said the reference to her drinking gallons of Coca Cola indicated an unprofessional tone and concluded DC Moth was 'harassed' by his comments.

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