Married banker sues office with ‘culture of homophobic banter’

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A married City of London banker has told an employment tribunal he was forced to leave his job after being subjected to homophobic abuse from colleagues.

Paul Roche worked at Dutch bank ABN AMRO in a position which paid him £70,000 a year, but says he was forced to leave after his Irish ancestry and perceived homosexuality were used to abuse him.

He said he was called ‘the only homo in the office’ and received emails telling him to ‘p*** off pikey’. The Sun reported he was also advised to keep a moustache because he was perceived to be gay.

Mr Roche, who is married with two children, said he was forced to leave the position when managers would not let him move his desk further from the alleged ringleader.

He also said his colleagues would not speak to him because he was not Dutch, as well as regularly insulting the Irish.

The bank’s barrister, Laura McNair-Wilson, said there was a culture of ‘homophobic banter’ in the office which he was involved in through chain emails. But, she said, “at no stage did the claimant raise a claim of direct discrimination while he worked there”.

Mr Roche believes he was unfairly dismissed. The Central London employment tribunal panel reserved its judgement.