Former army sergeant gets pounds 200,000 after being called `Bubba' and enduring racism

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A SOLDIER who was nicknamed Bubba after a retarded black character in the film Forrest Gump won nearly pounds 200,000 compensation yesterday. Staff- Sergeant David Howard was also branded "a fat hairy bear" and teased about his sex life by superiors.

The derogatory remarks were included in a mock job description that he found in a senior officer's drawer while serving with the Nato rapid reaction force in Germany. The file also contained comments about his wife, Heather, who is white. On the form, someone had written on the top "Bubba Howard", and next to nationality, the word "British" followed by six question marks.

Next to spouse's name was written "Ma'am", a derogatory term used by black men in the deep south of America to refer to white women.

Mr Howard, 39, of Newcastle upon Tyne, joined the Army at 17 and was medically discharged in June. He suffers from depression and agoraphobia and appealed to a tribunal held in his home city last March. The Ministry of Defence conceded Mr Howard had been the victim of racial harassment and discrimination.