Prison whistleblower wins record tribunal payout

A whistleblower who alleged abuse of inmates at Wakefield prison has been awarded compensation of £477,600 after winning a claim for unfair dismissal.

The amount awarded to former prison officer Carol Lingard is thought to be the highest for a public sector claim.

Lingard was treated as a ‘grass’ after reporting claims that prisoners were being bullied at the high-security jail, an employment tribunal heard.

Prison Service director general Phil Wheatley has since apologised to her and acknowledged that the organisation, the Professional Standards Unit (PSU) – established by new whistleblowing legislation – and his deputy all failed to deal properly with her allegations.

The Prison Service has accepted the tribunal’s recommendation there should be a comprehensive review of the PSU.

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