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UK tribunal holds calling a man bald is sex harassment

The facts

Tony Finn was employed by beer barrel stopper maker British Bung Company as an electrician between 22 September 1997 and 25 May 2021.

In late July 2019 an altercation between Finn and Jamie King occurred. Finn alleged of that incident that:


“I was working on a machine that I had to cover awaiting specialist repair. The covers were taken off, and it was apparent that Jamie King had done this. When I spoke to him about it, he began to call me a stupid old bald cunt and threatened to ‘deck me.’ Fearful for my personal safety I retreated to the nearby office of Ady Hudson, supervisor. Jamie continued his tirade of threats and abuse at the office door.”

Later, Finn claimed he had been called a “fat bald old cunt” by King in that incident.

A further incident on 25 March 2021 occurred in which King again threatened Finn.

Because a subsequent statement by Finn was prepared on West Yorkshire Police letterhead paper, Finn was dismissed on the grounds that he had “deliberately provided a witness statement which falsely suggested on its face and by its content, that it had been made to, and taken by, West Yorkshire Police in connection with the investigation of an alleged crime”.

In dismissing Finn with immediate effect, British Bung Company wrote to him that:

“We do not accept your explanation, or that you acted in good faith, or that there was merely an oversight. You did not apologise. On the contrary, you said that you did not think that you had done anything wrong… We are satisfied that your actions amount to gross misconduct justifying your immediate dismissal. In light of your failure to apologise, and insistence that you have done nothing wrong, we are satisfied that it would be impossible to have trust and confidence in you as our employee.”

British Bung Company letter to Finn

Finn was dismissed from his employment without notice despite until March 2021 having an unblemished disciplinary record over nearly 24 years of service.

Tribunal’s decision

The Tribunal panel, headed by Employment Judge Brain, found that Mr King did call Finn a “bald cunt” and that the word “old” did not feature. The Tribunal also found that King did threaten Finn with physical violence, rejecting King’s denials:

“We can attach no significant weight to Mr King’s version of events. Having received a warning from the respondent about the July 2019 incident it is unsurprising that he gives an account in which effectively he denies the use of threatening words or behaviour towards the claimant.”

Employment Judge Brain

The Tribunal found that the reason for the dismissal was the Finn’s conduct in presenting British Bung Co with a witness statement on West Yorkshire Police headed notepaper and which gave the appearance of matters having become a police matter. The Tribunal was satisfied that the health and safety reason and the protected disclosures were not the reasons for the dismissal.

Because Finn was led to believe that no decision would be made by British Bung Co pending hearing from the West Yorkshire Police with the outcome of their enquiries, only for his employer British Bung to dismiss him only two working days later, it was held good faith was lacking in British Bung’s disciplinary hearing which was not cured on its internal appeal.

The reason why this decision made headlines was due to the Tribunal’s finding that Mr King‘s comment amounted to harassment under the Equality Act 2010 because it targeted a protected characteristic, namely his sex:

“Plainly, some words or phrases would clearly be related to a protected characteristic. Where the link is less obvious then Tribunals may need to analyse the precise words used, together with the context, in order to establish whether there is any negative association between the two.

In our judgment, there is a connection between the word “bald” on the one hand and the protected characteristic of sex on the other. Miss Churchhouse was right to submit that women as well as men may be bald. However, as all three members of the Tribunal will vouchsafe, baldness is much more prevalent in men than women. We find it to be inherently related to sex. (In contrast, we accept that baldness affects (predominantly) adult males of all ages so is inherently not a characteristic of age)…

it is much more likely that a person on the receiving end of a remark such as that made by Mr King would be male. Mr King made the remark with a view to hurting the claimant by commenting on his appearance which is often found amongst men. The Tribunal therefore determines that by referring to the claimant as a “bald cunt” on 24 July 2019 Mr King’s conduct was unwanted, it was a violation of the claimant’s dignity, it created an intimidating etc environment for him, it was done for that purpose, and it related to the claimant’s sex.”

The complaint of harassment relating to sex arising out of the incident of 24 July 2019 therefore succeeded.

The claims that Finn was unfairly dismissed upon the grounds that he made the disclosures of the incidents of July 2019 or 25 March 2021, or for the health and safety reason, failed. However, the claim that Finn was unfairly dismissed pursuant to sections 94 to 98 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 succeeded because of the lack of good faith by British Bung Co in respect of the manner in which Finn was dismissed.

Full story: https://sterlinglawqld.com/uk-tribunal-holds-calling-a-man-bald-is-sex-harassment

Supreme Court banishes Satan from Queensland classrooms

The Queensland Supreme Court has effectively refused to allow the Noosa Temple of Satan to provide religious instruction to children.

The Noosa Temple of Satan is an unincorporated association preaching Satanism in Queensland.

The applicant, Trevor Bell, is a member of the Noosa Temple of Satan.

In March 2021, Bell and Robin Bristow, a fellow member of the Temple, applied for approval to deliver Satanic religious instruction at four Queensland State schools. Their application was refused on the ground that the Temple “has no entitlement to provide religious instruction” because it “is not a religious denomination or society for the purposes of” s 76(1) of the Education Act.

Bell sought a statutory order of review in relation to that “decision” under Part 3 of the Judicial Review Act 1991 (Qld) and, further, orders setting the “decision” aside along with a declaration to the effect that the Noosa Temple of Satan is a religious denomination or society for the purposes of s 76 of the Education Act.

Read more: https://sterlinglawqld.com/supreme-court-banishes-satan-from-queensland-classrooms/

Ghislaine Maxwell’s conviction for sex trafficking upheld

Jeffrey Epstein’s long time girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell has had her sex trafficking conviction upheld.

Judge Alison Nathan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld Maxwell’s conviction for transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and sex trafficking of minors.

However, Judge Nathan ruled that the three conspiracy counts Maxwell was convicted of were “multiplicitous,” and sentencing the convicted sex trafficker on all of them would violate the Fifth Amendment’s Double Jeopardy Clause.

Maxwell was found guilty in December by a 12-person New York jury of five of the six counts she was facing, including sex trafficking.

Maxwell is due to be sentenced in June.

Full story: https://sterlinglawqld.com/ghislaine-maxwells-conviction-for-sex-trafficking-upheld/

Douglas Winning refused High Court leave to appeal against corruption conviction

At about 1.00 am on Sunday 17 February 2019, police were patrolling in Rockhampton when they saw a car driving erratically and knocking over a street sign. They pulled the car over and found the driver was local solicitor Douglas “call me Doug” Winning.

Winning folded the cash in his right hand and extended his right arm out of the car, and towards the officers, keeping it there for some time.



Soon after, Winning still had the $300 cash in his hand and said “You wa-, you wanna lazy quid?”.

Winning pleaded guilty to drink driving. After a trial, Winning was convicted of official corruption.

Despite Morrison JA’s detailed and cogent judgment, Winning subsequently sought to appeal to the High Court.


Full story:

https://sterlinglawqld.com/douglas-winning-refused-high-court-leave-to-appeal-against-corruption-conviction/

Chris Dawson refused High Court leave to appeal for a permanent stay

Former high school teacher and rugby league player Chris Dawson is accused of having murdered his wife Lynette Dawson 40 years ago.

Lynette, 33, disappeared from their Bayview home on Sydney’s northern beaches in January 1982, leaving behind their two young daughters Shanelle and Sherryn, then aged four and two.

In a brief judgment, High Court judges Stephen Gageler and Michelle Gordon upheld the rulings made by the NSW ­Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeal, which had previously rejected his application to strike the case out.

Justice Gageler said there was no sufficient reason to doubt the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Full story:

British barrister beats woke Bar Standards Board

In 2021, British barrister Jon Holbrook was investigated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) over a series of social-media posts. 17 were thrown out. It decided that one of the 18 tweets in question constituted a breach of professional conduct.

The tweet he got into trouble for was as follows:

“Free speech is dying and Islamists and other Muslims are playing a central role. Who will lead the struggle to reinstate free speech as the foundation of all other freedoms?”

The Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service initially found that Holbrook had breached duty five of its handbook:

“you must not behave in a way which is likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in you or in the profession”.

Having already been thrown out of his chambers, he was sanctioned by the BSB and fined £500.

Holbrook appealed the decision on the following grounds:

1. under the Equality Act 2010 which protects ‘philosophical belief’
2. under the common law and human rights law that protects speech
3. because the charge of causing offence and possible hostility towards Muslims:
a) sets the bar far too low for bringing either me or the profession into disrepute
b) is not set out in the BSB Handbook, is ultra vires and is not prescribed by law
c) breached natural justice as I was given no chance to respond to this new charge
4. because the procedure breached my right to a fair trial under article 6 of the ECHR and common law.

The appeal panel decided that Holbrook’s tweet had not breached this duty, and ruled that the tweet was not “seriously offensive or seriously discreditable within the terms of the handbook guidance”.

Full story: https://sterlinglawqld.com/british-barrister-beats-woke-bar-standards-board/

Race hate hoaxer Jussie Smollett gets appeal bail

In December, American actor Jussie Smollett was found guilty by a jury of falsely reporting a hate crime against himself.

He claimed two racist Trump supporters wearing MAGA hats beat him up. It turned out he had paid two Nigerian brothers to stage the whole thing so that he could pretend to be a victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime.

Earlier this month, Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in Cook County jail, and 30 months of felony probation, as well as restitution of $120,106 and a $25,000 fine.

Since then, Smollett was ordered to be released from jail after posting a personal recognizance bond of $150,000 by an appeals court pending the appeal against his convictions.

In Australia, a convicted person must ordinarily demonstrate exceptional circumstances in order to get appeal bail. The position appears to be different in America.

Jussie Smollett sentenced to 150 days in jail for fake hate crime hoax

Last year, American actor Jussie Smollett was found guilty by a jury of faking a hate crime against himself.

But many in the media had believed him. His tale was simply too good to be false.

Brainless Brooke Baldwin of CNN lamented that “And this is America in 2019“.

She was correct, but not quite in the way she meant it.

America in 2019 was a country whose ruling class was obsessed with race and identity politics, and desperate to find instances of racism in order to justify their obsessions.

That remained the case the following year, when a white kid who shot some violent rioters in Kenosha, Wisconsin in self-defence was immediately characterized as a white supremist, even though all three rioters he shot were white.

Jussie Smollett understood this and figured that being the victim of a violent racist attack would spectacularly boost his profile.

He was proven right. Soon after, America’s ruling class unconditionally accepted his tale, and used it to condemn the entire country.

Full story:

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