A police inspector who was retired from the police force on the grounds of a depressive illness caused by his failure to achieve promotion was not entitled to an "injury on duty" award.Appeal by way of case stated from the decision of Mr Recorder D O'Brien QC on 12 September 2002 at the Dorchester Crown Court, to dismiss the appeal of the appellant ('C') under Reg.H5 Police Pension Regulations 1987 SI 1987/257. C was a police inspector with the respondent ('R'). C applied for a number of Chief Inspector roles but failed to obtain an appointment. On 6 December 2000 C was certified as disabled due to a psychiatric condition, namely depression, and was retired from the force on an ill-health pension. C attributed his depression to his failure to obtain promotion. On 20 December 2000 the Police Federation, on behalf of C, applied to R that consideration be given to the provision of an injury on duty award under Part B of the Regulations. R determined that C's injury was not one received in the execution of his duty because of the circumstances in which it was obtained and that, therefore, there was no requirement to refer to a duly qualified medical practitioner under Reg.H1. C appealed to the Crown Court, which decided that R was entitled to take the decision it did, without reference to a qualified medical practitioner, and that C's condition arose simply by virtue of his status as a constable and was not an injury received in the execution of his duty. Further, it decided that C's claim was one that could not succeed in the light of the decision of the Court of Appeal in Commissioner of Police v Stunt (2001) ICR 989 and could not be saved by any certificate given by a medical practitioner under the reference procedures in the Regulations. The Crown Court refused the application under Reg.H5(1) in exercise of its powers to inquire into the case and make such order in the matter as appeared to it to be just. In the present case the Crown Court sought the opinion of the Administrative Court on the questions of whether: (i) the Crown Court erred in its approach to the words "are considering whether to grant an injury pension" in Reg.H1(2); (ii) a police authority was entitled or required to determine whether an injury was received in the execution of the officer's duty as a constable without reference to a duly qualified medical practitioner; (iii) as a matter of law and in light of the decision in Stunt (supra), a psychiatric condition caused by a person's disappointment at repeated failures to obtain promotion was an injury received in the execution of that person's duty as a constable; and (iv) whether the Crown Court erred by deciding that the application could not succeed, or be saved by any certificate that a medical practitioner could properly give and in dismissing the appeal in the exercise of its powers and duties under Reg.H5(1).HELD: (1) The words of Reg.H1(2) were entirely clear: a police authority, when considering whether to grant an injury pension, was obliged to refer the issue to a medical practitioner (dicta of Latham J in R v Merseyside Police Authority, ex parte Yates (1999) LTL 19/2/99 noted). The Crown Court was wrong to give anything other than a literal meaning to Reg.H1(2). (2) Using that literal interpretation it was not open to a police authority to determine whether an injury was received in the execution of an officer's duty without reference to a medical practitioner. (3) C's injury did not amount to an injury received in the execution of duty. It was impossible to point to an event or events, condition or circumstances that impacted directly upon C's mental condition while carrying out his duties and which contributed to mental disablement. The relevant events impacted on C's condition not while he was carrying out his duties but when, having sought to obtain other duties, he was disappointed in not being given them. The injury derived simply from "being a police officer" and wanting promotion that he failed to attain. (4) Regulation H5 enabled a Crown Court, after enquiring into the case, to make such order as appeared to it to be just. The Crown Court did not err in deciding that the application could not succeed and that, in the exercise of its powers under Reg.H5(1) it could dismiss the appeal.Appeal dismissed.

[2003] EWHC 161 (Admin)

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