A mechanic who injured his index and middle fingers while repairing a police car, yesterday won £400,000 in damages from the Metropolitan police.
Alexander Darg had claimed £1m in compensation after cutting himself on a knife which was wedged down a driver’s seat.
The 39-year-old from Vigo, a village in north Kent, was hurt in 2002 at Limehouse police station in east London, where he was checking an airbag fault. His wedding ring had to be cut off after the incident and he required a number of stitches.
Two years later he gave up work after being diagnosed with a condition known as complex regional pain syndrome, saying that the injury prevented him from living a normal life.
Liability was admitted by the Metropolitan police, but it strongly disputed the extent of the injuries and the amount of damages claimed.
The high court was shown video footage which, according to lawyers for the force, showed that Darg had overstated his disabilities. The Met’s legal team also accused him of “spicing up” his disabilities and argued that he was due to be compensated only for superficial cuts which had healed afterwards.
Sir Robert Nelson, the judge, accepted that Darg’s disabilities had been exaggerated to an extent but ruled that the married father-of-two had never “falsely pretended to have symptoms which do not exist”.