Thief's unfair job axe claim backfires

A one-time hotel manager caught cheating his bosses has been left with a £7,500  legal bill over a backfiring claim that he was unfairly  dismissed

Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 3:00 pm
The Greyhound

Owners of The Greyhound in Leigh discovered Kieron Marsh had been siphoning off refunds due to customers.

But after he resigned Marsh, who had worked there for around four years, took out a constructive dismissal case, with the backing of his union Unite, claiming he had been forced out without a proper investigation taking place.

In a letter to the Manchester employment tribunal office in November 2016, his lawyers said: “You cannot prove that our client would have been fairly dismissed had the claimant been subject to a fair process, nor can you prove that our client was guilty of blameworthy conduct.”

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Marsh was also concerned that he had been suspended, a couple of days before handing in his resignation and that the company had recouped the money they said was missing from his wages.

But Marsh, now 29, confessed to carrying out the theft when interviewed by police, less than a fortnight later, a tribunal hearing was told, insisting he had a gambling problem and had been depressed at the time.

He also withdrew his employment claim.

When he appeared before Wigan magistrates last January, he pleaded guilty to the theft of £1,517 from Here For You Hospitality, the Warrington Road hotel’s owner.

Justices gave Marsh a 12-month community order, with 100 hours’ community service.

Lawyers representing Here For You Hospitality then sought their costs in defending the original tribunal case, which they said amounted to £12,000.

Ruling in their favour, Employment Judge Tobias Ryan said Marsh’s “unmeritorious conduct of the proceedings has caused significant cost to the respondent that it should not otherwise have to bear.”

But the judge said he had borne in mind Marsh’s personal circumstances – he was running a trampoline park at the time of the judgement and had several other debts – in making the £7,500 award to the hotel group.