Milton Keynes prison officer suing Woodhill after having three fingers torn off

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A Milton Keynes prison worker has launched a High Court claim for more than £200,000 compensation against the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) after he last part of his hand in an accident at HMP Woodhill.

Nigel Martin, 61, was opening gates at the high security jail for a lorry when the lorry moved forward, trapping his right hand against the gate according to a writ issued at the court in London and just made publicly available.

The MoJ has admitted liability for the accident, but the two sides cannot agree on the level of compensation to be paid to Mr Martin. If agreement cannot be reached a judge will have to assess compensation.

The writ says that three of Mr Martin’s fingers were torn off in the horrific accident which happened on 28 November 2014, and he needed surgery at the regional plastic surgery centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

It claims the injury has affected many aspects of Mr Martin’s life, including his ability to play cricket, squash and tennis, as well as undertake DIY jobs. The writ says he now needs help with domestic tasks and home maintenance.

The writ says that as a result of the injury Mr Martin is now self-conscious about the way his hand looks and hides it when in public.

It adds that at first the stumps of his fingers were very tender but says has now lost feeling in them and as a result has burnt and cut the fingers without realizing.

While it says he has struggled to accept his injury he has needed counselling and anti-depressants, and suffers from disrupted sleep. The accident is also said to have affected his relationship with his wife and son, and he is prone to frustration with his powers of concentration and attention reduced.

He returned to work in August 2015 before taking more sick leave but the writ says that and he has struggled to cope. However, it adds that his employment status is vulnerable, and he would be disadvantaged if he was to lose his job.