United Kingdom

Hovis baker who claimed he was left brain damaged in fall at Kent factory hit with £40k legal bill

A Hovis baker who claimed he was left brain damaged in a fall at a factory has been hit with a £40,000 legal bill after his 'dishonest' £300,000 compensation bid was thrown out by a judge. 

Judge Heather Baucher said Yacob Adan, 45, appeared at court solely for 'material gain' after 'moaning, groaning and grimacing' in a bid to con his ex-bosses out of a massive payout.

Mr Adan broke his collarbone when he tripped while pulling a trolley of bread tins at Hovis' giant bakery in Erith, Kent, in March 2014.

The baker claimed he was knocked unconscious, suffering brain damage and lasting disability, meaning he couldn't cook, wash or dress himself.

But secretly recorded footage showed him going about his day-to-day life in a totally normal way and looking after his children.

Dismissing his claim, the judge said Mr Adan greatly exaggerated his injuries and had even been 'observed to cry' in court 'in the forlorn hope' that she would be 'persuaded that he had been physically incapacitated'.

Judge Heather Baucher said Yacob Adan (pictured above), 45, appeared at court for 'material gain' after 'moaning, groaning and grimacing' in a bid to con his ex-bosses out of a payout

While handing him the £40,000 court costs bill, she said: 'I am entirely satisfied that the only reason he so presented at court was for material gain.'

She added that he could now be faced with contempt of court proceedings brought by Hovis' insurers, which could lead to a maximum jail term of two years.

During the trial of Mr Adan's claim last month, Central London County Court heard he was working at the bread factory in March 2014 when he fell.

He was pulling a large trolley of tins backwards down a corridor when he tripped on a loose bolt in the floor and crashed to the ground.

Mr Adan claimed he was left unconscious for three minutes, suffering 'mild' brain damage and ongoing psychiatric injuries.

He has since suffered from depression, which was contributed to by the persistent pain in his back and arm after the fall at work, he said.

Lawyers for his ex-bosses at Premier Foods Plc, former owners of the Hovis brand, accepted that he was hurt in the accident, but accused him of exaggerating his injuries to get more compensation.

A surveillance video showed him going about his day-to-day life normally, barrister Simon McCann said.

Although he claimed he couldn't use his right arm, he was seen getting on buses with his kids, holding onto a handrail and carrying shopping.

And while he claimed to need a crutch and could walk only 50 metres at a time, he was seen without any walking aid while out for an hour and a half.

Mr Adan broke his collarbone when he tripped while pulling a trolley of bread tins at Hovis' giant bakery (pictured above) in Erith, Kent, in March 2014

Far from being unable to work again, Mr Adan had been capable of work for some time, he argued.

Mr McCann said: 'The reason the level of symptoms complained of has no medical explanation is because there could not be one.

'He is simply trying to mislead the court and the defendant for the purposes of gain.'

Giving judgment, Judge Baucher said she was satisfied Mr Adan had not been knocked unconscious in the fall and rejected his claims of a brain injury and lasting disability which mean he is dependent on carers.

She said Mr Adan appeared in court throughout the trial with his crutch, making regular groaning noises while 'swaying in an unnatural manner' and, at one point, starting to cry.

But the video surveillance showed him 'at ease' without a crutch while out with his children, for whom he had 'sole responsibility,' she said.

She added: 'I find that he attended court using a crutch and moaned, groaned and grimaced in the forlorn hope that I would be persuaded that he has been physically incapacitated as a direct result of this accident. 

During the trial of Mr Adan's claim last month, Central London County Court (above, file photo) heard he was working at the bread factory in March 2014 when he fell

'He maintained he couldn't use his arm properly. There is no evidence to support that contention.

'I find that he has deliberately exaggerated and that he has no present physical or psychiatric disability that is related to the accident.

'I am satisfied that he has been fundamentally dishonest in relation to the primary claim.'

The judge said Mr Adan had also put forward a dishonest claim for over £40,000 in care costs, backing it up with 'fabricated documents.'

She said he would have been awarded just over £6,000 for his genuine injury, but that because he had been so dishonest his case would be kicked out completely.

Mr Adan was ordered to pick up Premier Foods' lawyers' bill for the case, which is thought to be over £40,000.

He could also now face contempt of court proceedings, which can result in a heavy fine or jail term.

Football news:

Smertin recalls Euro 2004: he almost fought in the joints, defended against the young Cristiano and understood the excitement of the Bridge
Gareth Southgate: We shouldn't be football snobs. In matches with top teams, diversity is important
Leonid Slutsky: I am still sure that the Finnish national team is the outsider of our group. They were very lucky against Denmark
I'm not a racist! Arnautovic apologized for insulting the players of the national team of North Macedonia
Gary Lineker: Mbappe is a world-class star, he will replace Ronaldo, but not Messi. Leo does things that others are not capable of
The Spanish fan has been going to the matches of the national team since 1979. He came to the Euro with the famous drum (he could have lost it during the lockdown)
Ronaldo removed the sponsored Coca-Cola at a press conference. Cristiano is strongly against sugar - does not even advertise it