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Easy come, Easy go: the judge didn't think so
Paul Michell represented Mr Rawsthorn in his case of unfair and wrongful dismissal against Easybus. Mr Rawsthorn worked as a senior member of staff at Easybus for many years. The high-profile founder of the Easygroup , Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, was responsible for sacking Mr Rawsthorn. Sir Stelios also gave evidence at tribunal. In a resounding victory for Mr Rawsthorn, employment judge Selwyn Bloch QC made trenchant and damning findings against Sir Stelios. He ruled that Sir Stelios:
“repeatedly evaded answering questions put to him in cross examination... was apt to make all kinds of allegations of dishonesty and falsity ... which on the face of it were manifestly unsupported... seemed to have no qualms about making entirely new allegations ... which, again, appeared to have no foundation... [and] expressed disdain for legal protections given to employees [and]... the ‘wishy washy advice of lawyers’.
The judge held that “where there are matters of industrial relations which do not interest him” Sir Stelios “will ignore normal employment practise or elementary courtesy to employees as he sees fit”. He also considered the procedure adopted by Sir Stelios against the claimant was “wholly deficient- in fact a travesty.” He ruled that the complaints against the claimant were all groundless and “part of a ‘scattergun’ exercise designed to drive the claimant to defeat”.
Mr Rawsthorn received the maximum award available in such cases (a total of about £84,000). He expressed delight in the outcome.
Easybus has recently signalled its intention to appeal.
See the judgment here