Former nurse loses £12m case for unfair dismissal

Controversial entrepreneur Kate Bleasdale's reputation lay in tatters last night after she lost her £12m unfair dismissal case against Healthcare Locums, the recruitment firm which sacked her last year following the discovery of a black hole in the accounts.

Ms Bleasdale, famous for winning a record breaking £2.2m for unfair dismissal and sexual harassment at a previous company, was suing HCL and certain directors for sex discrimination, victimisation due to whistle-blowing and unfair dismissal.

During the course of the tribunal she dropped several charges including that of sex discrimination.

However, the former nurse continued to press other claims and even instituted new ones during the unusually long three-week case which ran through April and May. All her claims were yesterday dismissed.

Speaking exclusively to the Independent, she said she would appeal. "I do not agree with this judgment and I am going to fight it. I have told the truth and nothing but the truth and the truth will out eventually."

She declared: "If they think I am going to lie down and die then they are very much mistaken."

Ms Bleasdale was twice named Entrepreneur of the Year and founded Match Group, which she successfully sued in 2002, and Healthcare Locums, which she built into Britain's biggest medical recruitment firm. A spokesman for HCL declared the company "delighted" with the judgment.

The mother of four's shares in Healthcare Locums were sold for a fraction of the £25m they were worth at their peak but she denied speculation that she had bankruptcy proceedings against her.

Controversially, while building up the Aim-listed company, she bought businesses owned by her partner, now husband, John Cariss. Despite concerns over these transactions, she continued to keep the confidence of the market, which supported a £130m refinancing in late 2010 to fund a big takeover in Australia. But weeks later, it emerged that there were huge irregularities in the accounts and the shares were suspended, later to plummet.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'