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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 July 2007, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
Sting loses discrimination case
Sting and his wife Trudie Styler
Sting's estate has won the right to appeal
Rock star Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, have been ordered to pay their former chef compensation after losing a sexual discrimination case.

Jane Martin, 41, was awarded 24,944 in her case against the couple at an employment tribunal in Southampton.

She claimed she was sacked by Miss Styler from the couple's estate in Wiltshire because she became pregnant.

The tribunal chairman said the panel was surprised by the level of the claim and had expected it to be much higher.

The tribunal was surprised... that the claimant was not seeking aggravated damages or costs
James Simpson
Tribunal chairman

Lake House Estate, which was the named party in the case, has won the right to appeal against the ruling and damages.

The sum of compensation included 10,000 for injury to feelings and 16,000 for loss of earnings with deductions for redundancy pay already received by Miss Martin.

In his judgment, the tribunal chairman, James Simpson, stated that the level of compensation for Miss Martin's hurt feelings was set after that amount was requested by her legal representative Michael Norman.

He said the tribunal panel had expected the claim would have been much higher.

Mr Simpson added: "The tribunal was therefore surprised when Mr Norman, for the claimant, suggested the figure of 10,000 and that the claimant was not seeking aggravated damages or costs."

He added that the level for loss of earnings was set after Miss Martin argued that she had difficulty in getting similar employment to her work at Lake House rather than in hotels and restaurants.

'Cruel' treatment

Mr Simpson said: "The tribunal accepts the claimant's qualifications and experience do not equip her for employment in hotels and restaurants generally and it would be unreasonable to expect her now to seek such employment."

A spokeswoman for Dutton Gregory Solicitors, which represented Miss Martin, declined to comment on the compensation level set.

Miss Martin, from Winchester, cooked for stars such as Madonna at the couple's 300-acre estate for eight years.

She won her cases of unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination on 8 June after telling Southampton employment tribunal of her "cruel" treatment from her former employers, and that she feared losing her baby.

Sting chef 'feared losing baby'
08 Jun 07 |  Hampshire
Employment tribunals face review
07 Dec 06 |  Business

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