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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 November 2007, 19:30 GMT
Police guilty of discrimination
A female firearms officer who endured sexist behaviour while at work at Gatwick Airport has won a sex discrimination case against the police.

Barbara Lynford told a Brighton tribunal in August her boss was openly sexist and colleagues left magazine images of topless women lying around.

The 38-year-old, who spent 14 years with Sussex Police, claimed her private mobile phone messages were also read.

Sussex Police said the judgment was being studied by their solicitor.

Ms Lynford joined the all-male firearms team at Gatwick Airport in 2002.

It is very sad that Ms Lynford has had to tolerate such treatment from her colleagues
Ray Coster, Police Federation

She told the tribunal officers refused to sit next to her, ran over her mobile phone in a van the day her mother died and stretched their patrol breaks into hours.

Mrs Lynford has not returned to her duties after being signed off with work-related stress two years ago.

She said: "I am pleased the Employment Tribunal has vindicated my case.

"I hope now Sussex Police will learn from this case and take such complaints seriously in the future so that other female officers are not subjected to this kind of treatment.

"I have been fortunate that the Police Federation have supported me from the outset."

General Secretary of the Police Federation's Constables Central Committee, Ray Coster, said: "It is very sad that Ms Lynford has had to tolerate such treatment from her colleagues within the workplace, and that the issues were not addressed by the force at an early stage.

"I would hope that the force would learn from this case."

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "We have received the judgment and are currently studying it with our solicitor and counsel to advise us on the next steps.

"The judgment is subject to appeal on both sides. It is not appropriate to comment further at this stage."

A hearing to decide damages will be held at a later date.

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