An Essex man has successfully sued a service provider who consistently “outed” him and used hounding “homophobic” gestures to taunt the victim.
Tim, not his real name, has been awarded £7500 by a judge after suffering homophobic abuse at the hands of a shop assistant who used homophobic gestures used to imply that he was gay.
According Tim’s legal representatives,
“The shop assistant followed this up with repeated mocking gestures on about 20 further occasions. These took place in public, when Tim was passing the shop, in his local area, and the shop assistant was outside on a cigarette break. This abuse was highly embarrassing for him and it only stopped when Tim issued his Equality Act claim in the county court.”
The judge ruled that this was not a minor event and awarded Tim £7,500 compensation for the abuse.
After the hearing, Tim said,
“I am obviously delighted with the outcome of my case at Trial. I issued this case to prevent future incidences of discrimination and/or homophobia occurring. I will be absolutely chuffed if this case prevents one person from carrying out a homophobic act in the future and additionally, if this case provides one person with the courage and conviction to come forward and report an act of harassment and/or homophobia in the future.”
Douglas Johnson, of Unity Law, the solicitors that represented Tim, said,
“There are very few cases brought in the courts of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. Just by issuing his claim, Tim made the abuse stop and we are pleased he was awarded a significant sum of damages.
Barrister Catherine Casserley, who conducted the trial, said,
“So far as I am aware, this was the first case of discrimination by a service provider, where all the acts of discrimination were gestures not words. The case also shows that the Equality Act 2010 can protect people against acts of discrimination that occurred even after they stop being customers of the business in question.”