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UK Whistle Blowing Prison Guard Awarded £477,000

UK Whistle Blowing Prison Guard Awarded £477,000

A Leeds, United Kingdom employment tribunal awarded a former West
Yorkshire prison guard £477,000 and £90,000 in costs for constructive
termination after she reported bullying and intimidation of prisoners at
Wakefield Prison.

Carol Lingard reported a guard who she claimed had warned a sex offender
he could be slashed by prisoners if found with images of children. She
claimed the guard attempted to plant incriminating material in the
prisoner's cell. In a second complaint against the same guard, she claimed
he forged another prisoner's record to show poor behavior and that he was
involved in a suspicious assault against the same prisoner.

Afterward, Lingard claimed she was discriminated against, intimated and
stone walled by colleagues and, by then pregnant, was forced to resign
after 15 years in the service because she felt the work environment was
hostile and unsafe.

An initial investigation -- later described as "poor" and "not
professional" by the tribunal -- found "no evidence" to support her
allegations. However, the employment tribunal later found in her favor in
a 67 page decision heavily criticizing prison service management. Mrs.
Lingard has now been completely vindicated by the tribunal, said her
brother and attorney, John Sturzaker. In their first decision the
tribunal made damning criticisms of the handling of her case by the Prison
Service at all levels up to, and including, the deputy director. In their
second decision & the tribunal has emphasized how good her career prospects
within the service were, and how much she has lost as a result of the
actions of the Prison Service. The award, which covers lost income and
pension, is thought to be a record in the public sector.


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