SOUTHAMPTON EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL - Part Heard Preliminary Hearing
Updated: Mar 13, 2019
This was a preliminary hearing scheduled for 3 days between 5th and 7th March 2019,
several applications had been refused before getting to the tribunal including the claimant's application to transfer the case to a different region.
The case was heard on the 5th and 6th of March and will continue on the 20th and 21st May 2019.
This is an important case for all whistleblowers which; was instigated as a result of highlighting corruption concerning disclosure by Hampshire Constabulary in the previous now well known case of Panayiotou - v - Chief Constable Paul Kernaghan.
The outcome of that case was not accepted and flies in the face of of the Public Interest disclosure Act which is supposed to protect whistleblowers.
The present case concerns alleged corruption in the case of Panayiotou v Chief Constable Paul Kernaghan including suppression of relevant documents which would have an impact on the outcome of the case.
There were also other serious allegations levelled at the PSD including the alleged "loss" of the most important documents in this case being the policy files and also a paedophile operation file known as "Operation Bondfield" being concealed when it was required for the purposes of the case.
A brief summary of the hearing was that concerns were raised regarding reasonable adjustments not having been arranged in advance which meant that the first day was not audio recorded.
A decision had already been made that my case would not be transferred to another region by the regional Employment Judge so I withdrew that application.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Michael Lane and Richard Andrews were individually named respondents, there had been a new case authority since my previous case where the PCC had previously been included.
This is a relevant case as it effectively means that the PCC are now even less accountable. It is worth reading the brief summary of that GMP case below:
Butterworth v The Police and Crime Commissioners Office for Greater Manchester & Ors UKEAT/0222/15/JOJ
The Claimant left the service of Greater Manchester Police Authority (“GMPA”), having agreed a settlement of claims of sex discrimination against it. Eighteen months later, in accordance with the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act (“ PRSRA ”), the GMPA ceased to function: its policing role was thereafter performed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (“PCCO”). The Claimant wished to claim for acts of sex discrimination by the PCCO and the Commissioner, harassment, and victimisation of her for not having complained of sex discrimination against the GMPA, though she was not and never had been employed by the PCCO. An Employment Tribunal held it had no jurisdiction to consider her claim. The Claimant appealed, arguing that Schedule 15 of the PRSRA , paragraph 5, provided that the PCCO succeeded to the liabilities of the GMPA, and that the duty not to discriminate was such a liability; that in any event, section 108 Equality Act had that effect, and it was necessary to provide for post-termination claims of discrimination and victimisation under the Equality Act and the Employment Rights Act (in respect of whistleblowing) to ensure the effectiveness of Page 2 the anti-discrimination provisions and of the revised Equal Treatment Directive 2006/54 . It was held that “liability” held its natural meaning, and the context tended (contrary to the Claimant's submissions) to confirm this; that in order to ground liability section 108 required a relationship which had to be between employer and employee, and the Claimant had never been an employee of the PCCO; and that the Equal Treatment Directive did not require that a different interpretation be given to the Act nor was it necessary for it to be effective that there should be one.
As a result of the above case I conceded and withdrew the claims against the PCC, I am presently looking at alternative actions concerning their breaches of the Data protection Act and misuse of my personal information.
The second claim of victimisation for putting in the present claim was stayed pending the outcome of the present preliminary hearing.
The claims against Hampshire police continue and as the Chief constable was vicariously liable for the actions of it's staff I was persuaded to remove the individually named respondents Olivia Pinkney and Roger Trencher; the force solictor.
Whilst this simplified matters somewhat, in hindsight it was probably the wrong decision because as soon as Mr Trencher was removed as a named respondent I began to receive unwelcome and threatening communications from him so it had at least provided an element of protection having him as a named respondent at the time.
From the correspondence which appeared focussed on the DCC Sara Glen, I would suspect that he was under some pressure and Mr Trencher states that he is happy for me to publish our communications:
"On to more pressing matters. Your allegations are not clear, they appear to be completely without foundation and malicious. I will provide you with one more opportunity to either explain your allegations or retract them and apologise. If you do neither, I am afraid the next correspondence is likely to be more formal. You appear to be intent on destroying the public reputation of key individuals within this Force, for personal gain. That is an unwise course of action."
"With the greatest of respect you have not specified a criminal allegation capable of being investigated aside from the Perjury which is somewhat clearer. An allegation against the DCC of corruption on the basis of the information supplied to date does not hold up to scrutiny. You have made serious allegations, either substantiate them or withdraw them and apologise. You cannot accuse someone in the DCC’s position with corruption without any basis for the specific allegation."
I have provided Mr Trencher and the PSD with sufficient evidence that would have resulted in any other person being arrested and had the full monty of associated tasks carried out such as searching of premises and examination of computers.
PSD have failed to record any of the allegations in accordance with HOCR/NCRS and additionally appear content for the force solicitor to blunder along and destroy any forensic evidence, I have had no confirmation that my request for a specific document to be secured and preserved for forensic examination.
This mirrors a previous request from my MP to the then Chief Constable Alex Marshall which was ignored and important key documents went missing.
Interestingly a key document which I had provided to solicitors representing Hampshire police and placed at pages 167 to 170 of the document bundle had also been tampered with. The document had apparently been "cleaned up" for the employment tribunal.
I asked the solicitor how this was done and the response was "It was done manually with a piece of paper and a photocopier". This document was one of the documents I maintain was deliberately concealed in the case of Panayiotou v Kernaghan.
Preparation is now underway for the continuation of the preliminary hearing on 20 may 2019.