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Last Updated: Friday, 14 October 2005, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
White jail warder wins race case
A white South African prison officer has been awarded nearly 400,000 damages after enduring years of racial abuse at a Wiltshire jail.

An employment tribunal heard that David Melloy, from Devizes, eventually had to quit his job at Erlestoke prison.

The 43-year-old was said to have been verbally abused and falsely accused of smuggling drugs into the jail, but was cleared of any wrong-doing.

The Prison Service has said it was unable to discuss individual cases.

The tribunal in Bristol was held in April, but a final judgment was only made in the case last week.

Mistrust and antagonism

Mr Melloy, from Devizes, had left the racist apartheid regime of his homeland in the 1970s.

The judgment found that his strong South African accent had set him apart from other officers and made him a target for black prisoners.

He claimed the jail's governor offered him little or no support.

The ordeal led to his marriage collapsing, he suffered a nervous breakdown and attempted to take his own life.

We believe that the claimant's national origin led to a perception of him as different
The tribunal's judgement

The judgement said: "We believe that the claimant's national origin led to a perception of him as different and caused mistrust and antagonism among prisoners and staff.

"We conclude that this led to the less favourable treatment he received."

He was awarded 380,501 in damages and 5,000 in legal costs.

The figure is the second largest pay-out the Prison Service has made to a prison officer.

In July, Carol Lingard won 477,600 in compensation for constructive dismissal and victimisation after she complained about the behaviour of another prison officer at Wakefield jail in West Yorkshire.

Mr Melloy's solicitor, Tim Prees, said his client was on holiday and was not willing to comment on the award.

Jail whistleblower wins 477,000
05 Jul 05 |  Bradford

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