A Yorkshire man is facing early retirement from his job as a Ministry of Defence (MoD) police constable after a workplace injury has left him with lifelong damage to his back and psychological trauma.

James Taylor, a 37-year-old father of four, recently secured five-figure compensation for the injuries with the help of the Defence Police Federation and social justice law firm Thompsons Solicitors.

Mr Taylor was based in East Yorkshire and would spend most of his shift in a compact panel van as part of his role, where he was responsible for driving the vehicle and transporting police dogs.

When his usual vehicle was damaged and in need of repair, he was provided with a temporary replacement. However, he struggled to sit comfortably in the new vehicle as the seat did not move forwards or backwards, and space was further limited because of shelving behind the driver’s seat.

Mr Taylor suffered significant pain in his back, thighs, and legs, as well as cramps and spasms, as a result of having to sit in the new vehicle for more than six hours a day – leaving him unable to walk for more than 100 metres. Despite raising concerns with his employer, he had to use the temporary vehicle for more than a year.

He eventually sought help from a physiotherapist and was later diagnosed with an intervertebral disc prolapse.

Even after a spinal operation, Mr Taylor remains in substantial pain and was medically discharged of ill-health retirement on 30 September [2022] – meaning the injuries have essentially ended his career at the MoD.

Mr Taylor also continues to battle with constant bouts of depression and anxiety, which culminated in a Post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis.

Mr Taylor said: “It’s something I thought I’d never have to deal with after everything I’ve seen in my career as a police constable.

“After my surgery, I was unable to lift my youngest daughter. Even routine tasks like carrying shopping bags have become a struggle. It really has changed my life.”

The 37-year-old has gone from walking miles weekly to actively avoiding sitting and when he does, he must use a spinal support cushion.

Mr Taylor sought legal support from his staff association, DPF, and with the help of Thompsons Solicitors, he and his family have received significant compensation for his injuries.

Alison Gregory, of Thompsons Solicitors’ Leeds office, said: “This case shows what happens when health and safety checks are ignored.

“Both vehicles driven by James had complaints dating back to 2010 – suggesting his employer dismissed safety concerns for years and thought they could get away with it – and James paid the price.

“We’re glad we were able to secure compensation for Mr Taylor and his family. It is the least he deserves for such inexcusable lack of care.”