[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 22 December 2005, 17:26 GMT
Driver suspended for Nazi salute
A hospital in Essex has suspended a driver for allegedly doing Hitler impressions in front of other staff.

Stephen Marsham, 55, who works at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex is off work but on full pay until a disciplinary hearing next week.

A hospital spokesman said they received five complaints after Mr Marsham made the gestures at a party on 15 November.

Mr Marsham's wife, Linda, told BBC Radio Five Live: "I don't really agree it was racist. It was just a joke".

She added: "One particular department has complained. Everybody else thought it was just funny because that's the way Stephen is.

"It was more like he could have done Charlie Chaplin, he could have done Laurel and Hardy. It wasn't meant at any particular race or type of person."

'Racist gestures'

Mr Marsham had previously gone to a staff fancy dress party as an RAF officer, and later ended up goose stepping and giving Nazi salutes.

In a statement, the hospital said the trust received a number of complaints about alleged racist gestures made by an individual in a working area of the hospital.

"These gestures offended other members of staff.

"We take accusations of a racist nature very seriously and believe we have provided an even-handed approach."

It said "appropriate action" had been taken to protect the interests of both the individual concerned and other members of staff.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific