CSA chief 'asked official to lure women for him': Employee denies having 'fatal attraction' for sacked manager

A WOMAN accused of sexually harassing her boss at the Child Support Agency claimed yesterday that he used her to lure women for him at CSA functions.

The official, known as Mrs A, said that her manager, Stephen Davies, asked her for 'a quickie' on one occasion and, at another event, ordered her to leave him alone with a woman, saying: 'I'm going to have that.'

Mrs A, an executive officer at the CSA's West Midlands headquarters near Dudley, was giving evidence at an industrial tribunal in Birmingham hearing Mr Davies's claims that he suffered sexual discrimination by the CSA because it failed to stop Mrs A sexually harassing him.

The hearing, which has reflected badly on behaviour within the agency, has been told that Mrs A reported Mr Davies, 39, for sexual harassment after he refused to sleep with her. He claimed she pestered him for sex, commented on the size of his penis and bought him skimpy underpants. Mr Davies was cleared, but was sacked in March for management harassment of two other women.

Weeping as she gave her evidence, Mrs A said Mr Davies bullied her at work, and added: 'There was one incident when we were at a party when Steve saw a woman in a black dress with long hair. He asked me to find out who she was and where she worked.

'On a business course in Manchester, Steve said he was 'going to have that (a female colleague)', and I was to help by making sure they were left alone. At another party, while my husband was drunk, he asked me for a quickie out the back. I did not like CSA social functions because Mr Davies would use me to help him get a woman.'

In a heated exchange about the Manchester incident, Peter Henrick, representing Mr Davies, said Mrs A was 'obsessed with sex', adding: 'I don't know any woman who would pimp or conspire with a man to get a woman.'

Mrs A replied: 'I had already sampled his bullying behaviour and was trying to handle it. I was intimidated by him.' She said that after one party Mr Davies, who was given a lift home by her and her husband, spent the entire trip talking about the breasts of a colleague - Mrs C - and how he intended to get his hands all over them. Earlier in the hearing, Mr A alleged that Mr Davies laid a bet that he would get Mrs C into bed.

There were also allegations that Mr A was trying to sleep with Mrs C; that Mr Davies had made plays for a Miss B and a Miss E; and admissions from Mr Davies, a married father of two, that he had had affairs with other women and that he dropped his trousers at a party to launch the CSA.

Mrs A denied a suggestion that she had a 'fatal attraction' for Mr Davies and said she had never harassed him.

The hearing continues.

Leading article, page 15