We supported a PCS member who suffered physical and psychological trauma when he was caught up in a prison riot.
The 59-year-old instructional officer at a Yorkshire prison had worked in prisons for more than two decades, but saw his career cut short when he attempted to break up a fight in an understaffed textiles workshop.
He said: “When you’ve worked in prisons for as long as I had, you quickly sense when things are going wrong – but I didn’t realise just how bad this incident was going to be.”
Our client found himself in the middle of two violent groups of prisoners who were using the pieces of machines from the workshop as weapons. There should have been two colleagues alongside our client, however, due to staffing issues, one had been deployed to another area, leaving him exposed.
He continued: “The situation was escalating, and I was becoming increasingly frightened for my safety. There was no way to avoid getting injured.”
The Yorkshire man suffered a variety of physical injuries whilst trying to deescalate the situation, but while those healed quickly, the psychological effects were far more damaging. The man was signed off work after developing depression and anxiety and, while he has managed to find alternative work at a local hospital, he continues to struggle with psychological trauma.
Following the incident, he contacted the PCS union and was put in touch with Thompsons Solicitors. The trade union law firm helped him secure a substantial settlement.
“I have lost a lot of my self-confidence and quickly become anxious if I am in a crowd or noisy environment,” he added. “But fortunately, Thompsons and the PCS made the process as seamless as possible. Their help has enabled me to get back into work and restore independence in my life.”