Court rules that ‘light-hearted banter’ and actions of property investment firm boss amounted to sexual harassment

An account executive at a property investment firm has won a claim for sexual harassment against her “serial sex pest” boss.

Josephine Chi said Anthony Baker, managing director of a London property investment firm, bombarded her with salacious text messages and e-mails and groped her at an office party.

A central London employment tribunal heard that Baker had fondled and kissed Chi at a work party in a nightclub and sent her an e-mail saying: “Someone has the hots for you,” the Times reports.

“He started to caress my back and asked me to stay a little longer. I said ‘no’, but he kept insisting and continued to caress my back for the duration that I was sitting there,” Chi said.

The tribunal ruled that Baker’s attention was “unwanted” and that Chi, who joined the firm in April 2004, had felt intimidated by his behaviour.

Baker had already been accused of alleged sexual harassment by another female employee and had been warned by police.

The tribunal is due to decide the amount of compensation that Chi will be awarded next month.

Chi, however, said the amount of compensation was irrelevant. “This was never about the money or getting even with Anthony Baker,” she said. “I didn’t want to settle my case and take the money and run. I just wanted justice to be served in court.”

Baker claimed that his texts and e-mails were just “light-hearted banter”.

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