A University of Manchester security guard who suffered a broken collar bone and finger during a burglary in a campus launderette, has been paid compensation by the University. His claim was supported throughout by his trade union UNISON and union lawyers Thompsons.

Gerard Darlington, from Worsley, Manchester is a Security Supervisor for the University of Manchester and has been employed by them for 26 years. He was working the night shift when a report came in that there were noises heard in the laundrette in Moseley Road, Fallowfield. There had been a few recent burglaries and it was known that offenders carried tools to break into the machines as this was their preferred method of gaining entry to the cash boxes.

Mr Darlington, aged 48, arrived on the scene with two colleagues and following a chase, managed to detain one of the men. He explains: “A fierce struggle broke out and the man became aggressive and abusive and was hitting out at us. Whilst we were waiting for the police to arrive, I was trying to calm him down but he was thrashing around. As a result, I fell on my knees and hands and he fell to the floor landing on my right side. I was covered in blood. The police had to struggle with him to handcuff him and eventually took him away. I was taken to the Manchester Royal Infirmary A&E Department where they confirmed that I had broken my collar bone and my finger, and fractured my right radius and humerus; I also injured my knees, back, neck and shoulders.”

Never received adequate training

He continues: “We were actively encouraged to pursue and apprehend offenders as shown by the many commendations from previous incidents that I have received from the University. The problem however was that we never received adequate training to do this job properly.”

Gerard Darlington is a member of leading trade union Unison and brought his claim for compensation with the support of their personal injury specialists Thompsons Solicitors. As a result, the University of Manchester paid him over £13,000 damages in an out of court settlement.

Paul Foley, Unison Regional Officer, comments: “Gerard Darlington had to have months off work, and ongoing physiotherapy and operations as a result of the injuries he sustained. He continues to experience problems with his neck which affects his work and his day to day life, especially his ability to sleep. We are therefore very pleased with the compensation he has secured.”

Representing Mr Darlington, Jill Griffiths from Thompsons Solicitors in Manchester said: “As a security officer there was always going to be an inherent risk in Mr Darlington’s job. That said, adequate training to apprehend assailants may well have prevented him from being so badly injured.”