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Crime

Gay swimming instructor called ‘paedo’ and ‘faggot’ by manager

Joseph McCormick March 5, 2015
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A gay swimming instructor has told a tribunal that his manager called him a “paedo” and a “faggot”, as well as making him change in a disabled toilet.

The tribunal heard that Paul Britton was also sent inappropriate images by colleagues, including one of a man in a mankini, in an attempt to get him to quit his job.

The judge heard from Britton that managers at the High Wycombe Sports Centre had attempted to get him to leave after he revealed “lies” they had told at a tribunal where he represented a disabled colleague.

He worked at the centre for three years prior to the tribunal, without anything happening, but the incidents started after Britton, also a trainee lawyer, represented the colleague at the tribunal at which the employer was forced to pay out a large sum of money.

Britton described that the abuse started when his manager Graham Ashby called him a “greedy gay” back in 2013 when he overheard him saying he was going to order a pizza.

He said Ashby had told him it was “inappropriate” for him to use the male changing rooms, saying it would be like himself using the female changing rooms.

Continuing at the Reading tribunal, Britton also said that Ashby told him it would be “wrong” for him to teach children.

In another incident, Britton described how Ashby asked him if he was a Tory, and when he asked why he wanted to know, he was told: “Gay and Tory can mean only one thing.”

When he was asked what he mean, Ashby then allegedly said “paedo”, and walked away.

After such incidents, Britton said he had gone home saying he felt unwell, but Ashby had reportedly just told him to “lighten up”, saying it was just “banter”.

He also said he had been told by the manager “here comes the bald queer”.

In proceedings, Britton said he thought Ashby had made the comments because he doesn’t like gay people, and that eventually he had stopped going to the gym or swimming, and that he was “frightened” to go to work.

Another manager Joel Hoyte, reportedly told Britton to take off his wetsuit next to the pool, and in front of a young boy, despite him saying that he had nothing on underneath.

Britton said: “I thought he was going to physically attack me in the pool. He was so angry and hostile towards me. The public and staff that were present were completely silent.”

The tribunal was adjourned earlier this week.

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