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Tuesday, 13 February, 2001, 16:37 GMT
Sacked Sikh officer 'to get 350,000'
Gurpal Virdi  and his wife Sathat
Gurpal Virdi gave a statement with his wife Sathat
A Sikh police sergeant sacked after being accused of sending racist hate mail is to get 350,000 compensation, according to the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE).

Gurpal Virdi, of Cranford, near Heathrow, was awarded 150,000 in August after a tribunal ruled he was the subject of racial discrimination by the Metropolitan Police Service.

The CRE said the Met - in a second racial discrimination tribunal on Monday - agreed to give Mr Virdi a further 200,000 to compensate him for loss of his career and injury to his feelings.

But Scotland Yard said nothing had been fully agreed yet in relation to the second tribunal settlement.

Mr Virdi, 42, was sacked in March 2000 after an internal disciplinary panel ruled he had sent racist hate mail to 13 of the 15 ethnic minority officers, including himself, and six civilian workers at Ealing police station in west London.

The letters, delivered by the Met's internal mail system in December 1997 and January 1998 and signed "NF", showed a picture of a black man with the words: "Not wanted. Keep the police force white so leave now or else!"

Some of the messages were allegedly linked to Mr Virdi's computer, and in April 1998 the father-of-two was suspended after his home was searched.

The disciplinary panel concluded that Mr Virdi, who had 16 years unblemished service in the Met, was motivated by frustration after being turned down for a promotion.

But Mr Virdi, who gave evidence of racism in the Met at the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, claimed he was being discriminated against after threatening to expose white officers for race crimes.

Full apology

In November 2000, Mr Virdi was offered reinstatement with a full apology after an employment tribunal appeal upheld the ruling clearing his name.

On Tuesday, Mr Virdi said he refused to accept reinstatement because the Met failed to re-investigate the case despite new evidence given at the employment tribunal.

Speaking at a press conference in London with his wife Sathat, 35, he said: "The Commissioner, Sir John Stevens, gave me his word that something would be done and nothing has been done.

"He did not honour his word and that is why I am leaving."

Mr Virdi added that his 13-year-old daughter, who had wanted to join the police force, had changed her mind.

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