Train driver wins 'historic' damages

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The Independent Online

A train driver who won his case of unfair dismissal after "blowing the whistle" on a rail company was awarded £55,000 yesterday, including a payment for aggravated damages and injury to feelings.

Laurie Holden, 49, resigned from Connex suffering from stress and complaining of being victimised for warning the company about signals being passed at danger.

Mr Holden, from Tonbridge in Kent, who was a train driver for 25 years, successfully argued at an employment tribunal earlier this year that he was unfairly dismissed.

The tribunal in Croydon, south London, decided that Mr Holden should receive £55,000, which includes £18,000 for aggravated damages and injury to feelings. His solicitor, Paul Maynard, said that legal history had been made because it was the first time an award had been granted for aggravated damages and injury to feelings in an unfair dismissal case.

Mr Holden said he was pleased with the outcome, adding: "This was never about money. I brought the case to raise the issues, so anything else was a bonus."

Connex, which runs rail services in South-east England, said it would like to draw a line under the affair.

A spokesman said: "We are sorry things had to get this far before being resolved. We are satisfied we have had an opportunity to state our case at the tribunal."