Nanny loses unfair sacking claim against Heather Mills

Heather Mills's former nanny has lost her claim of sexual discrimination and constructive dismissal against her, her solicitor said today.

Sara Trumble, 26, claimed Mills reduced her to tears with the demands she placed on her and forced her to work long hours without any extra pay



The nanny, who was paid £260 a week by Mills to look after her daughter Beatrice, now six, told an employment tribunal she felt she was a hard-working and loyal employee but in return her former boss took advantage of her.







Ms Trumble, who began working for Mills in April 2004 when she was still married to Sir Paul McCartney, said she handed in her notice in September 2008 after she was relegated to domestic duties after returning from maternity leave.



The three-day hearing at Ashford Employment Tribunal Centre in Kent, which began at the end of March, saw Ms Trumble claim compensation for sex and maternity discrimination, plus constructive dismissal.



However tribunal judge Steven Vowles dismissed the claims in the judgment, which was reserved until today.



During her own evidence Mills, who lost a leg when she was hit by a police motorcyclist in 1993, said she treated Ms Trumble "like a daughter" and showered her with gifts during her employment, including a two-seater sports car.



Mills wept as she described how she met Ms Trumble when she gave her beauty treatments at a health club near Sir Paul's estate in Rye, East Sussex, and took her on as a nanny to help her better herself.



She said that if anything, she was too accommodating with Trumble when she took maternity leave to have her daughter Lily in 2007 and pointed out that Trumble asked her to become godmother to the child when she was born.



Mills claimed she and the young nanny were "very close" but their relationship turned sour when she refused to give her £4,000 for breast enlargement surgery in the spring of 2008.



She denied Ms Trumble's claims that she relegated her to carrying out household chores after she returned from maternity leave, and said she only arranged new childcare for Beatrice after she had handed in her notice.









A spokeswoman for Mills said she was "delighted" with the result.



She said in a statement: "Heather is delighted with the decision of the Employment Tribunal that has dismissed all of Sara Trumble's claims.



"Heather was always a very fair and generous employer to Sara and is very pleased that this has been confirmed by Judge Vowles and the Tribunal members unanimously in the judgment."



The judgment stated it "did not find the claimant to be a persuasive witness" and "made substantial changes to her evidence when cross-examined and was generally unsure about dates and the sequence of events".



However it added that it had found Mills's witnesses - personal trainer Ben Amigoni, staff manager Ruth Matthews, PA Sonya Webb and sister Fiona - to be "more persuasive" in their testimonies.



During the tribunal Ms Trumble complained that Mills often made her feel uncomfortable by getting her to lie to Sir Paul when he came to pick up or drop off Beatrice following their divorce.



But the judgment stated that although Ms Trumble may have felt awkward at these times, "it was not surprising" Mills "wanted to ensure the handover of Beatrice was conducted as quickly and smoothly as possible with the minimum of upset to all concerned".



It also found Ms Trumble's claims that Mills made her feel uncomfortable by asking her to report back to her about her new boyfriend, Jamie Walker, was actually in keeping with the nanny and Mills's "close personal relationship" as they often discussed their respective partners with one another.



During the tribunal, Ms Trumble said she was made to give a glowing account of Mills to a film crew she had hired to make a documentary about herself.



On this topic the judgment concluded that the incident was voluntary and the nanny did admit she "did say some very positive and kind words" about Mills, which she felt at the time were true.



The judgment dismissed Ms Trumble's assertions that her role changed once she had her own child, as she accepted in her own evidence that she carried out housework and other menial tasks from the start of her employment with Mills.



It summarised: "The claimant's account of the respondent's alleged animosity towards her pregnancy, maternity and childcare responsibility was not supported by the surrounding facts proved by the tribunal."

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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: Human Resources Manager

£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...

Recruitment Genius: Internal Recruiter - Manufacturing

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager (CIPD) - Barking / East Ham - £50-55K

£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...

Recruitment Genius: Operations / Project Manager

£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones