Painful wait for cop after crash

Maria Bradshaw,

Added 28 December 2012

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Former police officer Stephen Greaves was transporting a prisoner when suddenly a tyre on the police car he was driving blew out, causing the vehicle to overturn. That was 15 years ago. Two years later, in 1999, faced with several medical complications, Greaves was declared unfit to work and forced to leave his job. He filed a claim with the Attorney General’s Office, which accepted liability; but up to this day Greaves is still waiting for his much needed compensation. Recalling the terrifying accident of 1997, Greaves, 56, said he was driving along Bulkeley Road in St George, taking his prisoner to the police station, when he heard a loud noise and felt the vehicle go out of control. The car veered dangerously before overturning near to Bulkeley Factory. Greaves remembers his head, which was jutting through the rear glass window, banging against the road before he blacked out. When the officer regained consciousness, he was lying on a bed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Doctors told him that not only had he suffered a deep gash to the left side of the head, requiring stitches, but he had also damaged a disc in his back. Greaves said the injury left him unable to walk properly for several years, and he had to undergo extensive therapy. “I used to have to walk against the wall, because the pain would be so great,” he stated. After receiving a letter from the Attorney General’s Office indicating he would be compensated for his injuries, Greaves waited eagerly for that cheque to arrive. For not only were his medical bills mounting; he still had himself and his family to support. “My lawyer wrote the Attorney General’s Office in 1999, and we received a response stating that the claim was being quantified because the investigations were concluded. Since then we have written the Attorney General and the Solicitor General; and we have not received any more replies. “The last thing I heard from the Solicitor General’s Office was that the person who was dealing with my file went on leave, and the file was left untouched for years. I contacted them again this year and I was told the file would be handed to another officer . . . but nothing has happened,” Greaves cried. This situation has taken a financial toll on the former cop. He pointed out that with doctors having assessed him as an invalid, he does not collect any disability benefit. “I am still receiving therapy and I still have my family to support. My back still hurts. I am frustrated with the runaround I keep getting from Government,” he said. Back in July, an official of the Solicitor General’s Office did admit that Greaves’ file had been misplaced “for a long time” because the officer dealing with it had gone on leave. She stated that the file would be handed to a senior officer so the claim could be settled. However, while the officer did contact Greaves back then and assure him the matter was being dealt with as a priority, the former cop insists he has heard nothing else since then.

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