Lecturer loses claim for unfair dismissal

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The Independent Online
A UNIVERSITY lecturer who alleged he was forced out of his job for exposing a European Community grant fraud has lost his claim for unfair dismissal.

Dr William Mallinson said he intended to appeal after an industrial tribunal threw out the claim and awarded costs against him on the grounds that his case was 'unreasonable, malicious and vexatious'.

The Southampton tribunal yesterday decided the Bournemouth University public relations lecturer had not been dismissed when he signed an agreement to leave last December. The university, a former polytechnic, argued that there was no case to answer.

Dr Mallinson received a pounds 35,000 pay-off, but he said he had had to accept it after harassment because of his decision to highlight a bogus grant claimed by Professor Timothy Wheeler.

He claimed he did not know that the further education union, Natfhe, was negotiating on his behalf to reach a settlement. But yesterday a union representative, Dilys Hardacre, said Dr Mallinson had initiated negotiations, asking her if he could get pounds 50,000.

The three-man tribunal unanimously agreed that no dismissal had taken place. The tribunal awarded costs against Dr Mallinson to a maximum of pounds 3,000. Costs can be awarded only if the application is made unreasonably, maliciously or vexatiously.

Ian Edwards, the tribunal chairman, said the case was frivolous because it had no chance of success; unreasonable because Dr Mallinson had intended to get as much money as he could then go to a tribunal; and vexatious because he intended to use the hearing to repeat his allegations.