Police officer who was signed off sick caught 19 times playing football and working side job
A former Leicestershire police officer, who was caught playing football 19 times despite being signed off sick from work with gout, committed “extreme deception”, according to a misconduct hearing.
Jay Gorania was “trying to get his own back” against Leicestershire Police after he alleged that he was held back in his career due to his race.Mr Gorania, who has since resigned from his role, had been working as a neighbourhood PC with the force when he first signed off sick with gout on October 12 last year.
However, it emerged the illness was all an act - with the officer even faking GP letters to ensure he stayed off from work on full pay for three months.The misconduct hearing heard how Gorania claimed the gout was so severe he could not work - even from home. He even limped to his front door to prove his limitations to his line manager on one occasion.
But it was all an act, as he was found to be working a side job and keeping active, with footage proving he was a competitive five-a-side footballer during his alleged sickness.
The hearing was told how during sick leave, all officers must abide by the force’s sickness procedures which mean staff “must be truthful” about their condition.
They must also not work in a way which “would aggravate their condition”, but this was not the case for Mr Gorania.
Despite repeated claims he could not work lighter duties from home, Mr Gorania continued with his existing second job as the manager of a portfolio of leasing and lettings properties.
He was on full pay from the force during his absence, with the side job adding to his earnings, the panel heard.
More shockingly, the officer was captured in several videos playing football for his five-a-side team on 19 separate occasions during his supposed case of gout.Dave Ring from the police's legal services team said: “This is an extreme deception. It required planning and forethought. This behaviour was cynical and dishonest."It is blatantly dishonest behaviour. He has shown no remorse for his actions."When questioned about his deception, Mr Gorania did not dispute what he had done, accepting he had lied to his line manager and that he could have worked. However, he denied his actions were misconduct.
The reasons for the fakery came to light too, with the hearing told how Mr Gorania held a grievance following a previous minor misconduct hearing.
This saw him given words after he had claimed his bosses treated him differently because of his race and had been held back in his career development.Mr Ring said: “He wanted to get his own back on the organisation. He said: ‘If they do not care about me, why should I care about them?".
Those claims were all dismissed, with Mr Gorania even admitting race was not an element for his grievance. The former officer was charged with breaching the standards of professional behaviour for officers, with the breaches questioning his honesty and integrity.
Chief Constable Chris Haward of Lincolnshire Police, who chaired the hearing, believed that Mr Gorania had been dishonest throughout.
Chief Constable Haward said: “His grievance does not justify his actions. I fail to see how his disillusionment with Leicestershire Police justifies his behaviour - especially as he continued to claim a full salary, which is public money we must remember. This was dishonesty for financial gain.”
Chief Constable Haward said that if Mr Gorania had not already resigned from the force, he would have been dismissed, adding: “The facts are not in dispute.
"There is no doubt in my mind that Gorania’s actions amount to gross misconduct. His actions would have brought into question the trust and integrity of Leicestershire Police and harmed public confidence in the force."