Belfast: Director of gay restaurant called staff ‘poofs’ and ‘dykes’

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An employment tribunal has heard how a Belfast businessman groped a gay male employee’s groin, asked a lesbian manager for sex, and routinely used homophobic language.

Bryan West, 66, humiliated staff at the Rainbow Garland, an LGBT restaurant and club venue in Belfast city centre during 2012.

The Belfast Telegraph reports Mr West routinely called restaurant staff “stupid lesbians”, “dykes” and “poofs”, drunkenly grabbed a gay male employee’s groin after making a comment about his “bulge”, and called the same man in question a “faggot” and a “stupid poof”.

Mr West, a director of Rainbow Garland Ltd, has been ordered to personally pay compensation to two employees – a gay man and a lesbian.

The gay male claimant, identified only as XY, is receiving £20,000 compensation for harassment suffered – £15,000 to be paid by Rainbow Garland Ltd and £5,000 to be paid personally by Mr West.

Former events manager Gemma Hutton is receiving £16,000 compensation, of which Mr West was ordered to pay £4,000.

Ms Hutton was sexually harassed by Mr West on the grounds of her sexual orientation.

Shortly before last Christmas Mr West asked if she would sleep with him.

“The tribunal was shocked to hear that this type of entirely offensive and objectionable behaviour had taken place in a Northern Ireland work-place in the 21st century,” it said in its ruling.

“The tribunal found as a fact that Mr West frequently and continually referred to the claimant and her colleagues as ‘poofs’, ‘stupid lesbians’ or ‘dykes.’