Overweight detective wins £10,000 for her hurt feelings after boss told her she would feel better if she stopped ‘drinking gallons of coke’

  • DC Kerry Moth 46 was ordered to have more control over his diet.
  • A Devon and Cornwall officer suffers from chronic condition called Fibromyalgia
  • Over a 10-year span, she was off average 76 days per year. Hearings revealed 
  • Tribunal had ruled she had been discriminated against on grounds of disability

An overweight detective with fibromyalgia who felt humiliated when a higher-ranking officer said she might feel better if she stopped ‘drinking gallons of coke’ was awarded £10,000 in compensation yesterday.

An employment tribunal heard that Kerry Moth (46-year old detective constable) was ordered to have more control over her diet. 

The hearing heard that Detective Sergeant Daryl Marvelly stated that if her colleagues noticed she is trying to lose weight, they would be more respectful of her.

DC Moth was a Devon and Cornwall officer in 2003. She suffers with fibromyalgia which is a chronic, debilitating condition marked by fatigue and pain.

Mark Ley Morgan (for the police) stated that she was off average 76 days per year for a decade. 

In March, the tribunal found that DC Moth was discriminated against because of her disability. 

Detective Constable Kerry Moth, 46, felt 'humiliated' when she was told to take more responsibility over her diet, an employment tribunal in Exeter heard (file photo)

Kerry Moth, Detective Constable, was 46 years old and felt humiliated when she had to accept more responsibility for her own diet. An employment tribunal in Exeter heard the case (file photo). 

In July 2018 over lunch at Barnstaple police station (file photo above) DC Moth told DS Marvelly that she was 'fed up' with people assuming her weight contributed to her condition

DC Moth said to DS Marvelly, in July 2018, that she’d had lunch at Barnstaple’s police station. (file photo below) She was fed up by people assuming that her weight contributes to her conditions.

Fibromyalgia can be described as a chronic, debilitating condition that causes fatigue and widespread pain.

Studies suggest that it affects as high as 2.7% of the world’s population, and three out of every four people are affected.

Kirsty, the BBC’s Kirsty young announced her resignation as Desert Island Discs’ host in July 2019. She had been suffering with health problems for the previous year and was unable to work. 

A trauma such as an accident, childbirth or car crash can often trigger fibromyalgia. It is not clear why this happens.

You may feel a burning sensation from your head to your feet.

The fatigue can range from being tired and feeling sleepy, to being exhausted due to having the flu.

Many people with severe illness are unable or unwilling to work.

Some times the pain may be more intense than others, and it can change where the pain occurs. For example, the area that is most used might feel the worst.

Others symptoms include IBS, headaches, constipation or diarrhoea; IBS; IBS; IBS; bad concentration; dizziness; and allergies to heat or light.

Research suggests that the average patient takes five years for a diagnosis. This is likely due to the fact that X-rays don’t pick up on it.

This is pain that persists more than three months or affects more than 11 tender points when the skin is touched.

This treatment aims at relieving pain and helping you sleep.

Source: Fibromyalgia Action UK

Ley-Morgan stated that the force had been very caring and had made numerous adjustments to accommodate the officer, who was considered a’very useful member’ of the organisation. 

DC Moth shared with DS Marvelly, July 2018, that she felt ‘fed up’ by people assuming that her weight had contributed to her illness. 

The tribunal heard from Professor John Harrison of the force’s Occupational Health department in February 2019. He presented a report about how DC Moth was unable to complete her work.

Fibromyalgia can be a chronic condition. He said that it is necessary to adapt to the situation and make lifestyle changes.

If a violent situation occurs, Professor Harrison thinks DC Moth will be able protect herself and assist a fellow officer.

But he said she was too unfit to take a physical and would not participate in officer safety training. 

DC Moth stated that her weight wasn’t due to her diet, but rather to her medication for chronic conditions.

DS Marvelly stated that he didn’t dispute it, but said that he had seen her drink ‘gallons’ of Coca Cola. 

DC Moth stated that she had only consumed zero-calorie, decaffeinated and omitted coke.

Alastair, a judge at the employment tribunal, stated that DS Marvelly wasn’t acting in bad faith, but that the conversations ‘did had the effect of humiliating’ her.

DC Moth said that her reference to drinking Coca Cola in large amounts was an indication of unprofessionality and concluded that he had harangued him.

DC Moth was still employed by the force yesterday and broke down crying as she stated: “I just want my job to be done.”

Although she couldn’t pass the fitness test, she said that one day she hoped to become a sergeant.

Judge Alastair Smail said DS Marvelly’s comments became personal and were not appropriate for the professional relationship between them.

He said that DS Marvelly acted in good will, however his comments caused an upset which was regrettable.

The judge said £10,000 in compensation was for injury to feelings.

Additionally, he made several recommendations to help the officer continue excelling in her duties.