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Airbus Operations Ltd & Anor v Roberts [2012] EWHC 3631 (Admin)


The Defendant brought an action against his employer for personal injury suffered when he fell and twisted his back in the course of employment. He made a witness statement which indicated, among other things, that the Defendant could only walk short distances and that he usually had to use two crutches. The Particulars of Claim alleged that the Defendant suffered from continuous and chronic pain. Mr Roberts also made representations to this effect to two expert witnesses.

The Claimants had the Defendant put under surveillance. Footage obtained in that surveillance made it clear that the Defendant was exaggerating the extent of his incapacity. Among other things, the video showed the Defendant shifting building materials into a skip. The action was settled for a much smaller sum than that initially claimed. The Claimants brought this action alleging that the Defendant's exaggeration amounted to contempt of court.

The Administrative Court found that the Defendant had indeed been in contempt of court in the manner indicated. Had it not been for the surveillance evidence, the Defendant would in all likelihood have recovered a substantial sum in damages.


  • High Court (Administrative Court)
  • Thursday, 24 January 2013