Security guard who faked slip accident to clear a £10k debt is jailed
Hospital security guard who faked a slipping accident and won over GBP5,000 in compensation from NHS as he tried to clear debts is jailed for seven months after ex-girlfriend told bosses about his scam
- Rhys Williams tried to defraud his employer Basildon University Hospital, Essex
- Security guard, 30, faked a slip inside hospital as part of his compensation scam
- Williams claimed he had damaged his elbow in fall and took three months off
- But his ex-girlfriend contacted police and revealed it had been an elaborate lie
- Williams was jailed for seven months for contempt of court after his fake claim
Published: 12:40, 4 November 2021 | Updated: 12:51, 4 November 2021
A hospital security guard caught faking a slipping accident in a compensation scam on the NHS has been jailed – after his ex-girlfriend shopped him to his bosses.
Rhys Williams, 30, cooked up an elaborate plan to stage an accident at Basildon University Hospital, Essex, where he had worked for 12 years.
The veteran 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.
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-girlfriend, Ashleigh Barker, lifting the lid on his scam.
Now the father-of-two is behind bars after a judge found him in contempt of court and jailed him for seven months.
Security guard Rhys Williams, 30, (above) was jailed for contempt of court after his ex-girlfriend foiled his fraudulent compensation scam against his employer, the NHS
Judge Anne Whyte QC said a ‘deterrent’ sentence was called for in such a serious case.
The court heard 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.
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’.
Mr Williams cooked up an elaborate plan to stage a fake slip accident at Basildon University Hospital, Essex, (pictured) where he had worked for 12 years
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.
‘He only desisted from pursuing his claim when confronted with the incriminating texts.
‘I must also bear in mind that Mr Williams has conceded that had Ms Barker not made her disclosure to the NHS Trust – whatever her motivation – he would have received and kept the compensation.’
Mr Williams’ lawyers called for a light or suspended sentence given his admissions and his wretched plight, but the judge said she had no choice but to jail him.
‘Having considered this case on the facts, in my judgment I regret that the court would be failing in its duty to provide the necessary element of deterrence if I didn’t impose an immediate custodial sentence,’ she said.
She 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.