Security guard who faked accident at hospital is jailed… after ex shopped him to bosses
A HOSPITAL security guard caught faking a slipping accident in a compensation scam against the NHS has been jailed. Rhys Williams, 30, cooked up an elaborate plan to stage an accident at Basildon Hospital, where he had worked for 12 years. The guard scouted out an area of the hospital where water was leaking from the ceiling onto soggy cardboard, deciding it was the perfect location for a fake accident.
He even made sure there was no CCTV in place so nobody would demand photographic evidence of his mishap, which he reported to the hospital in November 2019. Mr Williams called up his superiors the day after the alleged spill and claimed to have slipped on a piece of cardboard left in the changing room the previous day. He said he had damaged his elbow and took three months off work to recover, claiming he was left depressed and unable to do housework or play with his kids at home.
But just after the NHS had offered to pay out GBP5,100 compensation, bosses received a message from his ex, Ashleigh Barker, lifting the lid on his scam. Now the dad-of-two is behind bars after a judge found him in contempt of court and jailed him for seven months. Judge Anne Whyte QC said a “deterrent” sentence was called for in such a serious case.
The court was told Mr Williams had been struggling to make ends meet at the time as he tried to clear a GBP10,000 debt and the scam was prompted by desperation, not greed. After concocting the imaginary accident, he launched a damages claim against the Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital. Read more:
As well as physical and mental injuries, he claimed the accident had impacted on his relationship with his former girlfriend. But the judge said it was Miss Barker coming forward with information to the hospital’s security bosses that revealed his lies. Mr Williams had “spoken to her about his plan to stage an accident,” said the judge.
“He also sent her texts on the day of the accident about this,” she added. “In the texts, he referred to the possibility of making a claim because he was aware of the use of cardboard boxes to cover leaks.” Faced with the evidence, Mr Williams admitted he had decided to stage an accident to “fraudulently try and obtain compensation,” she continued.
He claimed Miss Barker was “fully complicit” in his plan, but she insisted she had “felt unable to stop him from pursuing his claim”. Judge Whyte said Mr Williams was guilty of a clear contempt of court in trying to press a fake damages claim against the NHS, and his offence deserved a tough “deterrent” sentence. “He persisted in his dishonest claim from November 22, 2019,” she told the court.”
Mr Williams’ lawyers called for a light or suspended sentence given his admissions, but the judge said she had no choice but to jail him.
The judge acknowledged that for a man with a previous good name the spell behind bars would be a “terrible shock to Mr Williams and his family”.
The NHS Trust, which brought the case against Mr Williams, had its bid for him to pay its GBP13,543 legal costs bill rejected by the judge.