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Brian Muyepa Biography
Who is Brian Muyepa?
A former soldier who claims a debilitating ‘cold hypersensitivity’ left him in crippling pain has been charged with a £ 3.7 million compensation scam after he was filmed dancing at a barbecue.
Brian Muyepa, 32, suffered the non-freezing cold injury after standing in wet boots for more than five hours following a training exercise in Sennybridge, Wales, in 2016.
He claimed the condition, also known as ‘trench foot’, caused excruciating pain in his hands and feet, and he was discharged from the British Army in 2018.
But while defense ministry lawyers admit negligence, Muyepa is now being accused of “fundamental dishonesty” by exaggerating his claim after a video of his dance surfaced that same year.
The MOD says the images show him much more mobile than he appeared when he visited a doctor months later, when he couldn’t even stand without a cane.
How Brian Muyepa, 32, suffered the non-freezing cold injury after being left in wet boots for over five hours
“The video shows how he behaves when he is in his own environment, without thinking that he is being watched,” Defense Ministry lawyer Andrew Ward told the High Court.
“The concern is that he is fundamentally dishonest in the way that he has overestimated and exaggerated the claim.”
Judge Simon Auerbach heard that Muyepa enlisted in the Royal Artillery as a 19-year-old gunner in 2007 and joined the 40th Regiment and later the 47th Regiment.
His injury occurred when he conducted a promotional exercise in March 2016.
During the exercise, he spent time in a tunnel filled with cold water, but then had to continue for another five and a half hours in wet boots.
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When he finally got back inside, his hands and feet were swollen, tingly, and painful.
He was later diagnosed with a non-freezing cold injury, a disabling condition characterized by pain in the extremities and a hypersensitivity to cold.
Most commonly experienced by the military, he was first seen in the trenches of Europe during World War I and was nicknamed ‘trench foot’.
Following his diagnosis, it was recommended that Mr. Muyepa be protected from the cold in the future, his lawyer Laura Collignon told the court.
But after a stint on Ascension Island, he was exposed again in Salisbury Plain in early 2017, when he spent much of his time working outdoors on vehicles.
Ms Collignon explained that his condition subsequently worsened and he was diagnosed with “very severe” cold sensitivity in his feet.
Mr Muyepa, Ms Collignon accused the MOD
Finally, he was medically discharged in January 2018 and began his claim for compensation later that year.
In his claim, he said that he could only walk around 100 meters with a cane and could only stand for 10 minutes to make a drink or a snack.
He added that pain in the extremities is present most of the time, that he struggles to get up from a sitting position and he has to leave his wife to do all the household chores.
His claim of £ 3.7 million includes more than £ 800,000 for the loss of his army career and £ 1.7 million to pay the cost of lifelong caregivers of the.
If awarded, it would be the highest payment ever reported by the MOD for a non-freezing cold injury.
For the MOD, Mr. Ward said that the level of damages claimed was extremely high and that the claim for care was comparable to those made in cases where a person has been rendered paraplegic.
He said Muyepa’s presentation to his doctor was completely different from what was seen in the Facebook video and secretly recorded images of him during the day.
‘He was examined on March 16, 2020. The doctor asked him to stand with both feet together and his eyes open. He put a little weight on the club that he was holding in his left hand, ” he said.
When the doctor asked him to raise the stick a quarter inch, he fell backward. The doctor said it was dramatic and it didn’t seem like a natural fall. ‘
The images from the August 2018 barbecue, in which Muyepa can be seen dancing and holding a plate, had been posted seven months earlier by his wife on her Facebook page.
Another Facebook post showed Mr. Muyepa performing as a DJ at a party in a sports hall, he continued.
“He is able to behave in a manifestly different way than the way he presented himself to the doctor,” he said.
The secret footage subsequently recorded also showed Mr. Muyepa outside for an hour and a half, taking his children to school and shopping at Lidl and Home Bargains.
In asking the judge to allow the new evidence to be included in the next trial of his claim, he alleged that he showed that Muyepa is much more mobile when he believes that he is not being watched.
But for Muyepa, Collignon accused the MOD of “ambushing them” with the new evidence just a month before the trial began.
The evidence was also “weak,” he said, as it is not surprising that a cold injury victim feels better on a sunny day after a few drinks.
“The evidence is broadly consistent with what he said about the variation in intensity of symptoms,” he told the judge.
The complainant says that he had been drinking alcohol that day and that he experiences relief from symptoms when he takes pain relievers.
“He has said that he can walk, that he can stand; he does not perform vigorous movements in that dance.”
Surveillance experts had tried to film him for nine days, he said, and he had only been seen leaving his house in three of them.
At Lidl, he was filmed unloading purchases into the checkout with one hand, using the other to hold onto his cane.
She added: ‘This is a plaintiff who has been seriously injured as a result of the admitted negligence of the Ministry of Defense.
“He has suffered an injury that ended his career after 10 years of military service.”
In sentencing, Judge Auerbach ordered that the new evidence be included in the trial, which he said would now have to be delayed.
“There would be a real risk of injustice to the MOD if it did not admit this material,” he said.
“It is at least debatable that this material could have an appreciable impact on the final amount of the award that the court awards.”
No date has been set for the trial of Mr. Muyepa’s complaint.
Brian Muyepa Quicks and Facts
- Brian Muyepa suffered a non-freezing cold injury after exercise in Wales in 2016
- He is suing the Ministry of Defence for £3.7million after his medical discharge
- But MOD has accused him of ‘fundamental dishonesty’ in exaggerating his claim
- Footage posted to Facebook shows him dancing at a barbecue in August 2018