Teesside community enforcement officer Anthony Roach has won his claim for personal injury as a result of ill-fitting body armour. Mr Roach was given a second hand stab vest to wear whilst investigating complaints in potentially dangerous and hostile situations for Stockton council. He complained that the vest did not fit him properly and caused him to start with back and shoulder pain. Despite the 31 year olds complaints, the council did nothing to resolve the issue for nearly a year. Mr Roach was eventually put on light duties in June 2007.
Anthony’s claim for personal injury was awarded £2000 at Middlesbrough County Court. The court found that the Kevlar plates inserted in to the front and back of the stab vest were different and wrong sizes. These plates caused a wrong balance of weight in the vest which resulted in his body being pulled to the left. By constantly twisting his body to adjust for this inbalance, his back injury developed. In a statement after the case, Stockton Council said that although it was challenging the court order to pay legal costs, it had reviewed its complaints procedure to increase its efficiency.