A LOCAL business is celebrating after a judge dismissed a claim for a personal injury by a Trowbridge resident, finding her story “quite implausible”.

Yvette Thomas, of Yeoman Way, claimed that when she visited Southwick Car Centre in May 2012 one of their employees, Edward Slow, who was in the process of valeting a car, deliberately tripped her over with a hosepipe, resulting in her falling to the ground and injuring herself.

What then followed was a significant claim for damages for personal injury which Mrs Thomas and her legal representatives at one point valued at nearly £200,000.

Mr Slow, who is still employed at the used car and van dealership, denied that Mrs Thomas had even fallen over, and that she had instead complained that the hosepipe had simply brushed against her leg as she had walked past it.

Mrs Thomas suggested that the accident had left her with severe injuries, leading to her losing her job and requiring the use of a walking stick whenever she left the house.

However, Southwick Car Centre and its insurers, NIG, which is part of the Direct Line Group, carried out covert video surveillance which showed that Mrs Thomas was far more active than she had made out.

On Friday District Judge Goddard, sitting at the County Court in Bath, rejected her claim outright, stating that he did not find her story “in any way believable”.

Her claim was dismissed and she was ordered to pay Southwick Car Centre’s legal costs, which are likely to be in the region of £70,000.

Matthew Gregory, of Southwick Car Centre, said: “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the court case and the fact that Mrs Thomas’s fabrications have been exposed.

"We were extremely upset to hear of the false claims that Mrs Thomas had made against our business and staff, we employ some fantastic people who would go out of their way to help other members of our community in distress and often have done."

Mrs Thomas refused to comment.

Tim Marshall, a lawyer at DWF who acted on behalf of Southwick Car Centre and NIG, said: "This judgment has significant implications not just for Mrs Thomas but for the witnesses who supported her false claim.

​"It should serve as a stark reminder to others of the perils involved in pursuing such claims"