Gay stable-boy sexually harassed female manager

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A female manager has won £12,300 in damages after she was groped and harassed by a gay stable-boy.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, groped Louise Smith, pretended to have sex with her and exposed himself in front of her, an employment tribunal heard.

Ms Smith, 25, was in charge of nine staff and 40 horses at St Ives Equestrian Centre in Bingley, West Yorks.

When she complained to her bosses about the harassment, she was accused of lying and was later sacked, the Daily Mail reports.

She said the harassment began about a month after she was promoted to manager.

Ms Smith said that in the first incident, the groom grabbed her breasts as they passed in the yard and remarked that gay men “love boobs and bums”.

Several days later, he grabbed her by the hips while she was bending over and simulated sexual intercourse.

She said: “I stood up and pushed him away and nervously tried to laugh it off. I did not know how to handle it. I do not believe he had evil intentions, I think he thought it was a joke but it was inappropriate and I did not think it was funny.”

Ms Smith complained to her line manager in September 2009 but the harassment continued.

She said that the groom flashed his genitals at her and grabbed her between the legs on several occasions.

She complained about his behaviour numerous times but he remained in his job.

However, Ms Smith was accused of lying and was sacked on a fabricated charge.

The tribunal believed her claims of sexual harassment and unfair dismissal. She was awarded £12,300 damages for loss of income and injury to feelings.

Tribunal chairman Jonathan Whittaker said: “The fact that the groom is a homosexual should not make the allegations of sexual harassment less likely to be true.”