Care worker to take claim to Europe

A former Newcastle care worker who was falsely accused of making
obscene comments to a girl in foster care is taking the government
to the European Court of Human Rights for more compensation.

Paul Gillon, from Seaton Delaval in Northumberland, was sacked
and banned from working with children after talking on the
telephone with the 13-year-old girl.

Last November, he won his claim at a Newcastle employment
tribunal for unfair dismissal and in June received £20,000 in
compensation – the maximum amount allowed at the time. However,
Gillon believes he should have received £90,000 to compensate
for his lost earnings and distress, and his solicitors are
preparing to lodge a submission with the European court. They will
argue that the ruling breached his right to a fair and open
hearing, and his right to an “effective remedy”.

Gillon was employed by St James Fostering and Adoption Service,
in a role which involved liaising with foster parents. In June
1998, following a short conversation with Gillon, the foster child,
who had hearing problems, told her foster mother that she thought
he had made an obscene remark.

Gillon was first suspended, then sacked following a Newcastle
Council disciplinary hearing.

Last week, two nursery workers falsely accused of sexual abuse
in a public report by an independent review team commissioned by
Newcastle Council were awarded £200,000 each in libel


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