BR manager claims unfair dismissal after sex-pest allegations

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A BRITISH Rail manager was sacked after women colleagues claimed he touched them and made lewd comments, an industrial tribunal was told yesterday.

One married colleague was so repulsed by his behaviour that she resigned, the hearing in Leeds was told, and an 18-year- old, whom he called 'Cherub', broke down and told a personnel manager she wanted to quit because of him.

The 31-year-old manager, who cannot be named under industrial tribunal regulations, is claiming unfair dismissal against the British Railways Board. He was dismissed last September after a disciplinary hearing following sexual harassment allegations by the two women.

The tribunal was told he asked the women to accompany him on overnight business trips. gave them presents and invited them to his hotel room for drinks.

He encouraged the 18-year-old to apply to be his personal assistant, and when she was given the job he told her: 'I hope we'll have some fun together.'

The married colleague, who worked in the same department for Regional Railways North East in York, had to go on frequent overnight business trips with him and claimed he pestered her continually.

She said that at a conference in Bristol he banged on the door of her room for two and a half hours. She tried to tell him she found his behaviour repulsive but he told her 'don't be so stupid' and touched her up and made unnecessary stops on their journey home.

The hearing continues today.