Cleaner’s victory in CCTV sex pest fight

0
Have your say

A FEMALE worker at a top visitor attraction who was stalked on CCTV by a security guard has won her case for sexual discrimination.

Dora Alves was spied on by James Tuff while employed at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh in December 2007.

Tuff used cameras to watch the 26-year-old and then radio her with lewd comments.

Tuff later sexually assaulted Miss Alves which saw him charged and fined £500 in court.

Portugese Miss Alves took Our Dynamic Earth to an employment tribunal claiming bosses had failed to deal with her complaint properly.

A panel has now ruled the woman was “sexually harassed” and ordered her former employers to fork out £27,750 in compensation. Tuff has also been told to pay £1000.

The hearing was told Tuff had used the CCTV to track Miss Avles as she did her cleaning job. Miss Alves said: “At first it was just the odd comment about my body.

“But, soon after, he would appear out of nowhere.

“I would turn around and knock into him at the door. Other times when I cleaned, I would often have to kneel or bend down and suddenly he would be there.

“The only way he could know where I was would be to follow me on the cameras.”

Tuff also took a photograph of her on his mobile phone from a CCTV image.

A shaken Miss Alves went to her supervisor about this but he took no action.

Miss Alves also told the tribunal that she would listen to music during night shifts. She went on: “I was dancing around one time and he came on the radio saying he liked how I shook my bum and told me to move my body more. I realised he was watching me and I was terrified.”

Miss Alves said the final straw was in November 2008 when Tuff came out of his office and grabbed her from behind. She added: “I can still feel it now.”

Tuff was convicted at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last year and placed on the sex offenders register for three years.

Miss Alves claimed at the tribunal her former employers knew she was being harassed, but took no action.

She also said bosses failed to act properly after she reported the sexual assault.

Employment Judge Stewart Watt said: “The tribunal had no doubt at all that there had been continual sexual harassment by Mr Tuff of the claimant culminating in the sexual assault.

“The tribunal considered the claimant to be a truthful and honest witness.”