Ex-Waterlooville police station worker hurt in line of duty loses damages claim

INJURED David Jennings from Waterlooville who had to leave the police service after a prisoner injured his arm.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (120940-1)

INJURED David Jennings from Waterlooville who had to leave the police service after a prisoner injured his arm. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (120940-1)

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A CIVILIAN police worker whose career ended after he was attacked by a drunk prisoner has lost his battle for damages.

David Jennings was employed as a detention officer for Hampshire police. He was trying to restrain Christopher Clarke at Waterlooville police station when Clarke set upon him.

Dad-of-two Mr Jennings’ right wrist was broken in three places and he has endured seven operations in the wake of his ordeal in March 2006.

Mr Jennings, from Broadmeadows Lane, Waterlooville, blamed Hampshire police for his injury and launched a bid to claim damages when his career ended after 27 years’ service.

But the married 45-year-old’s hopes have been shattered after his case failed at the Court of Appeal in London.

Mr Jennings, who is awaiting a bone graft on his wrist, said: ‘I’m devastated at what’s happened. I was a long-serving member of Hampshire Constabulary.

‘It was a job I loved doing and unfortunately it came to a very abrupt end after I was assaulted in my line of work.

‘I have been medically discharged from the force.’

The legal team acting for Mr Jennings, led by barrister Charles Taylor, had argued at the Court of Appeal that a decision at Southampton County Court in 2010 to dismiss his claim was wrong.

But Lord Justice Pill upheld the previous finding that there had been no negligence on the part of Hampshire Constabulary.

Clarke, who had previous convictions for violence, had been arrested less than a week before attacking Mr Jennings on suspicion of assaulting a police officer when being photographed.

But despite this the custody sergeant on duty when Mr Jennings was injured requested that another photograph was taken. Clarke lashed out and he, Mr Jennings and a police officer were hurt.

Mr Jennings, who served as a special constable for 12 years and a detention officer for 15 years, added: ‘This will have a devastating effect on my family and my children.

‘I’m 45 years old. What sort of future hopes of employment do I have with this disability?

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