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Last Updated: Monday, 25 July, 2005, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Christian loses Sunday work case
Stephen Copsey
Stephen Copsey was claiming damages
A devout Christian who lost his job after refusing to work on Sundays has lost the latest round of his legal fight with his former employer.

Stephen Copsey, 33, had already failed to convince an employment tribunal and an appeal he was unfairly dismissed.

Now the Court of Appeal has thrown out his case and refused him permission to go to the House of Lords.

Mr Copsey worked as a production supervisor at WBB Devon Clays near King's Lynn until 2002.

He was claiming 65,000 damages.

Both industrial tribunals ruled that Mr Copsey was sacked because he refused to work a seven-day shift pattern and not because he held particular religious beliefs.

Lord Justice Mummery, giving the ruling at the Appeal Court, said the right to manifest one's religious beliefs under the European Commission on Human Rights is qualified by a right to interfere when it is justified.

"Devon Clays had compelling economic reasons which made it necessary to change the working practices of its workforce to a seven-day shift," he said.

Michael Schluter, chairman of the Cambridge-based Keep Sunday Special campaign, which funded Mr Copsey's legal costs, said the group would petition the Law Lords themselves for a hearing if the funds can be raised.

Churchgoer appeals over sacking
27 Apr 05 |  Norfolk
Sunday work appeal dismissed
13 Feb 04 |  Norfolk

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