Asian fireman wins racism fight

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An Asian fireman who was taunted by workmates with the nickname Gunga Din yesterday won his case for racial discrimination. Warren Mann, 34, complained that his fellow crewmen ignored him, made racist comments and left him in the station to make tea while they went out on call.

He told a Bristol tribunal that his confidence and that of his family was destroyed after three years of abuse while stationed at Painswick fire station, Gloucestershire.

The tribunal ruled that he suffered racial discrimination from sub-officer Brendan Gibbs, 53, and Gloucestershire Fire Service. A decision on compensation is to be made at a future date.

Mr Mann said that as soon as he joined as a part-time fireman in September 1993, Mr Gibbs hinted that other firemen had nicknamed him Gunga Din - after the Rudyard Kipling character. On drill nights he suffered racial comments, he said, and he made a formal complaint.

This led to further difficulties in the close-knit Cotswold community. He was the only non-white at the fire station and his family was the only Asian family in the town. He said he had become depressed and stressed.

The tribunal ruled that officers had made racist comments in Mr Mann's presence and had shown a "patronising and insensitive attitude" towards him.