In the News: Rider on ‘sick leave’ gets caught on a horse

That’s the headline from a story in Mail Online about a British equestrian who sued her bosses after a work injury and is now facing a nine-month prison sentence on fraud charges.

Janet Vemply-Burwood, age 52, was an active western riding competitor and coach who had previously performed before the Queen at the Diamond Jubilee Gala Pageant. After slipping and falling in the parking lot of her workplace, a hospital, she filed a civil claim against her employer and won £12,836 in sick pay in addition to £7,500 compensation for injuries. She also took two years’ sick leave.

Although Vemply-Burwood insisted that she was too injured to go to work, and claimed the injuries had impacted her ability to ride and coach, it was revealed that she was doing both in her downtime. According to the story,

Trust chiefs discovered that while she was claiming to be unfit, she was not only coaching students in ‘western’-style riding skills but participating in contests herself.

Vemply-Burwood, narrowly escaped being jailed today when she appeared for sentence after pleading guilty to two offences of fraud by false representation.

She was instead given a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work for the community.

On one hand, lying and fraud is very, very wrong. On the other hand, who can blame her from being unable to stay out of the saddle?

Read the full story here.


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