Whispering police sergeant to sue over dog trainer job rejection

A police sergeant who could only whisper is suing the force after failing to get a job training dogs, the Mirror has reported.

Catherine Gilbert has dysphonia – the impaired ability to make sounds with her voice.

An employment tribunal in Ashford heard how Kent Police took “no account” of her disability when considering her for the job.

But the condition would have made it virtually impossible for her to command police dogs as they need stern and clear orders, the employment tribunal was told.

Gilbert, who walked out of her £35,000-a-year job as a police sergeant in 2005 after a row over pay, also said she found it hard to communicate, phone or shout, and that senior officers did not make enough “reasonable adjustments” to accommodate her.

The officer added that she had felt “discriminated against” after being asked to attend a meeting with the assistant chief constable after she left.

But tribunal judge Martin Kurrein told her: “The Disability Discrimination Act is not a charter to blame someone for everything that happens.”

The hearing was adjourned until next year.

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