Page last updated at 18:34 GMT, Thursday, 12 November 2009

Police worker wins psychic ruling

A police employee sacked for claiming psychics should be used to crack crimes has won a landmark ruling that his views should be seen as a faith.

Alan Power, 62, of Merseyside, claimed he was forced out of his job with Greater Manchester Police because of his spiritualist views in October 2008.

An employment tribunal rejected a police authority appeal his beliefs did not amount to religious views.

A hearing on 23 November is due to rule on if he was forced out of his job.

'Worthy of respect'

Mr Power said he believed psychics could contact people after their death and help in the investigation of crime.

He said his beliefs stemmed back to his childhood when he saw "ghosts".

At a previous hearing in Manchester, a tribunal judge had ruled Mr Power's viewpoint was "capable of being religious beliefs" and was covered by the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003.

Mark Hill QC, from the Greater Manchester Police Authority, said the ruling could open the "floodgates" for a series of similar claims.

The hearing in London was told spiritualism was the eighth largest faith group in Britain, with 32,000 people claiming allegiance, according to the 2001 Census.

Outside the tribunal, Mr Power spoke of his delight at the judge's decision.

"It's fantastic," he said. "It proves that spiritualism is a religion worthy of respect.

"I haven't claimed any costs. I'm not claiming compensation. It's about hurt feelings. I expect my religion to be respected."

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