A nurse whose career has been all but destroyed by allegations of manhandling patients has won a landmark ruling that Devon and Cornwall Police violated her human rights.
The nurse – who is from the Plymouth area but was referred to in court only as "J" – says none of the allegations are true and one patient's complaint amounted to little more than a claim of "excessive pillow plumping".
She went to London's High Court, arguing that the force's refusal to remove the allegations from her enhanced criminal record certificate (ECRC) was making it impossible for her to get a job in her profession.
And she triumphed yesterday when Mr Justice Foskett ruled the disclosures "disproportionate" and said they amounted to a breach of her rights to respect for her privacy, enshrined in Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention. She should have been given a say before the disputed disclosures were made, said the judge, who added: "I do not consider that the risks generated by the possibility of occasional heavy-handedness outweighs the claimant's right to respect for private life."
The ruling means the disclosures will be expunged from J's ECRC and opens the way for her to seek compensation from Devon and Cornwall Police as "just satisfaction" for the breach of her human rights.
Her barrister, Stephen Broach, earlier told the court she had missed out on a series of career opportunities due to the ECRC which is disclosed to any prospective employer.
The certificate stated that police received complaints in 2007 and 2011 involving two patients at residential care homes, which were "categorically denied" by J.