Teen ambulance worker subjected to 'torrent' of homophobic abuse awarded £20,000

16 May 2022, 15:40 | Updated: 16 May 2022, 15:53

Teen ambulance worker Liam Gallimore has won £20,000 in a discrimination claim after he was subject to homophobic abuse.
Teen ambulance worker Liam Gallimore has won £20,000 in a discrimination claim after he was subject to homophobic abuse. Picture: Facebook

By Lauren Lewis

A teenage ambulance worker has won £20,000 in a discrimination claim after he was subject to homophobic abuse.

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Liam Gallimore, 20, of Hereford, was awarded the sum after he was subjected to a torrent of homophobic abuse including being called a "f***ing f****t" by his boss Sue Hill-Venning.

Other staff took part in the homophobic abuse, which was so frequent Mr Gallimore was unable to detail every incident for the tribunal.

Hill-Venning also complained of having too many gay staff, saying "I can't stand them", and berated team members, many of whom were aged 18-25, for being young.

Mr Gallimore, who was 18 at the time of the abuse, suffered "significant distress" and eventually quit before pursuing sex and age discrimination claims against Hill-Venning, who denied the allegations.

Liam Gallimore, 20, of Hereford, was awarded the sum after he was subjected to a torrent of homophobic abuse including being called a "f***ing f****t" by his boss Sue Hill-Venning.
Liam Gallimore, 20, of Hereford, was awarded the sum after he was subjected to a torrent of homophobic abuse including being called a "f***ing f****t" by his boss Sue Hill-Venning. Picture: Facebook

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Mr Gallimore was hired by Hill-Venning, who is in her 50s, in January 2020 and was immediately subjected to homophobic abuse.

The 20-year-old, who now works as an emergency care assistant, told the tribunal in Bristol: "Sue made comments such as 'we have too many f***ing f****ts in this company. I can't stand them'

"She also made wholly inappropriate derogatory and disrespectful remarks about me to other staff members which caused the staff members to form a warped opinion of me prior to meeting me.

"I initially ignored the remarks however I was very sensitive to the matters due to being a young and new staff member, but eventually Sue destroyed my comfort [due to] the constant insults, statements and comments directed at me.

"Sue's bullying and homophobic abuse increased and at this point there were three members of staff all recruited by Sue who also joined in on the homophobic abuse and bullying, telling me I was an 'underqualified f**got' who was useless at my age without a driving license and life experience."

Mr Gallimore eventually resigned in October 2020 after the abuse took a toll on his mental health.

The tribunal heard: "Mr Gallimore had been at an age and stage in life when he was coming to terms with his own sexuality and so the homophobic abuse really did impact on him."

Mr Gallimore was hired as an ambulance worker in January 2020 and was immediately subjected to homophobic abuse. (file photo)
Mr Gallimore was hired as an ambulance worker in January 2020 and was immediately subjected to homophobic abuse. (file photo). Picture: Alamy

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Employment Judge David Hughes said: "The homophobic abuse to which he was subject was too frequent for individual instances to be identified readily.

"He was subjected to regular homophobic insults by Ms Hill-Venning. These happened often in front of other people, and some other employees joined in.

"The impact on Mr Gallimore was significant. He was a young man. He told me that he felt able to be out at the workplace, but had come to regret it because of the abuse he received.

"The abuse in this case was sustained. References to 'f**gots' and 'f***ing f**gots' are likely to have caused Mr Gallimore significant distress, and I have accepted that the abuse had a serious impact on him."

The tribunal panel found Mr Gallimore had been subjected to both homophobic abuse and age discrimination, though the former was much more prevalent.

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