Student's reports against lecturer were rejected

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The Independent Online
A woman student accused of stalking a lecturer, who she in turn claims sexually harassed her, told a judge yesterday that she tried to stop his behaviour but he was still having affairs with other women at the university.

Asked by Ashley Underwood, representing Dr Robert Fine, whether she had said that to "wound or punish" him, she replied: "Would I? He is such a nice fellow."

Eileen McLardy, 50, agreed with Mr Underwood that she had made complaints against him "for the benefit of womankind in general". Asked if that was rather a lot to take on, she replied: "I don't mind, I am a woman. I am used to it."

Judge Thompson QC asked her: "What had he done?"

She replied: "Improper conduct. He had made a sexual proposition to me."

Mrs McLardy made a formal complaint in 1994 to Warwick University, where Dr Fine is a lecturer in sociology, but her allegations were "entirely dismissed".

Dr Fine, 50, is seeking a High Court injunction to stop Mrs McLardy bothering him at the university and his home in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. He is claiming damages for 140 listed occasions of harassment between 1994 and 1995.

Mrs McLardy, of Coventry, said she was still at Warwick, studying Second Chance Education and Collective Behaviour in Social Movements.

Mr Underwood asked whether she had enlisted the help of other students in trying to find evidence about Dr Fine's behaviour. Mrs McLardy replied: "Yes, I had questionnaires. I needed some evidence about what people had seen. Mr Underwood asked: "You challenged Dr Fine about his behaviour?" She replied: "I gave him every opportunity to apologise to me." Asked how many times she asked him, Mrs McLardy replied: "As many as possible. I had reasons to go and see him and I would ask if he had anything to tell me at all."

Pressed by Mr Underwood to explain why Dr Fine should apologise, Mrs McLardy said: "In his room I felt a distinct sexual advance was made."

She said she was "gobsmacked" when her complaint against Dr Fine was thrown out the day after she received her exam results, which had her lowest marks ever. Asked whether it left her with a feeling of grievance, she said: "The marks did. I had worked very hard for those marks

Mr Underwood asked: "What were your feelings about Dr Fine?" She replied: "I hoped I had stopped him doing it again. It doesn't look like it, he is having affairs with other doctorates."

The hearing continues today.