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Pounds 10,000 for victim of sexual harassment

A MANAGER who suffered a 'campaign of persistent, planned sexual harassment' has been awarded the maximum compensation of pounds 10,000.

In a highly unusual decision, an industrial tribunal also awarded Jenny Weston legal costs which could amount to pounds 10,000.

Ms Weston, a service manager with a subsidiary of Godfrey Davis, was allegedly assaulted by Colin Webb, her regional manager. Mr Webb was also said to have phoned her constantly and continually booked them both into hotels because he believed there was a 'special chemistry between them'.

Ms Weston spurned his advances and after three months with the company was dismissed after complaining.

The Equal Opportunities Commission, which backed Ms Weston's case, said the company, Pall Mall Services - one of the top five cleaning companies - had only a 'brief' equal opportunities policy which failed to mention sexual harassment. The majority of employees were women and most of the managers were male, the commission pointed out.

The company found that Ms Weston's allegations were unsubstantiated and told her: 'It was your word against Mr Webb's'

Ms Weston was dismissed for 'commercial' reasons.

Ms Weston said that she was 'elated' by the finding of the tribunal in Ashford, Kent. 'My message to other women - and men - is that you should never let people walk all over you. Don't let this happen because there are ways you can challenge it . . .'