Corrine Rotherham, Enforcement Officer for the K&A between Hanham and Widbrook, does not appear to have been seen since the autumn. A recent call to the CRT Devizes office produced a very cagey response that she was “unavailable for the time being”. Ms Rotherham’s mobile answers with the message that she is “unavailable until 28th March” and her land line simply says she is “unavailable”. We understand that Matt Preston, the Enforcement Officer who normally covers the K&A between Widbrook and Reading, has picked up some of Ms Rotherham’s work.
Corrine’s disappearance happened not long after the eviction on 14th September 2016 of a vulnerable boater who was hospitalised as a result of being forced off her boat. Ms Rotherham led the team of seven private contractors who boarded and began to tow away the lone woman’s boat as she slept, without checking to see if the boat was occupied; this was a very serious breach of health and safety regulations.
A number of nearby boaters were alerted to the situation and a blockade was formed preventing the removal. Ms Rotherham decided her plan had gone seriously wrong and called for back-up, in this case four police officers and a police van with an unknown number of officers inside. By this time the woman, who suffers from epilepsy, was so distraught that she was reduced to tears. She was admitted to hospital two days later, having been seen wandering round Bath in a distressed and incoherent state.
It would not be surprising if Ms Rotherham had been suspended as the result of such a serious health and safety breach. It is also known that she had been looking for another job, as she does not get on with her line manager, Enforcement Supervisor Sheila Shaw. She has previously had long periods away from her job that were thought to be due to stress.