Sacked lollipop man from Harlesden loses compensation fight
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
A primary school lollipop man from Harlesden who was sacked following allegations he racially abused a colleague has lost an employment tribunal battle with his former employer.
Jon Seymour, of Craven Park, was dismissed by Camden Council in April last year for gross misconduct having served as a lollipop man at Carlton Primary School, in Kentish Town, since 1995.
Trinidad-born Mr Seymour had been suspended by the council since July 2013 following an altercation at Camden Town Hall with Johnson Akinmoyede, a black council employee whom he called “King Kong” .
The former lollipop man attended a two-day employment tribunal this week insisting his dismissal was unfair and seeking thousands of pounds in compensation, claiming he was not being racist because he is also black.
He also denied he had been intimidating during the altercation.
But yesterday, Judge David Pearl, sitting at the Central London Employment Tribunal, threw out Mr Seymour’s unfair dismissal claim, pointing out that the council had a clear code of conduct which Mr Seymour had breached.
He added: “Therefore I conclude that the regrettable decision to dismiss the claimant was one that a reasonable employer could properly and legitimately take in these circumstances.”
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The court heard the row between Mr Seymour and Mr Akinmoyede broke out because the lollipop man was speaking loudly on his mobile phone in the town hall reception area as he waited for a meeting.
He was trying to arrange a parking refund over the phone after a meter swallowed £4 of change.
However, when council worker Mr Akinmoyede came from a nearby office to ask him to be quieter, the court heard Mr Seymour replied: “Who are you, King Kong? I will break you, move away from me.”
Speaking outside court, Mr Seymour said he would be appealing the decision.
He told the Times: “There’s no justice in England. It leaves me jobless, it’s hard for me to get another job because I breached the code of conduct.
“Maybe I’ll emigrate to another country.
“I’ve been applying for the jobs for the last year but they see I’ve been sacked and I don’t hear anything.”