Dyslexic officer due payout for discrimination

A dyslexic police recruit who was forced to leave his job is set to be awarded up to £500,000 in compensation after winning his claims of harassment and disability discrimination.

Probationary constable Owen Brooking was “intelligent and articulate”, but bullying superiors in Essex Police treated him as if he was “thick and stupid” because of his condition, a tribunal found.

Among Brooking’s complaints was the fact that he was not allowed to go out on patrol and was instead made to redo paperwork endlessly in a deliberate bid to humiliate him, the tribunal heard.

He was taunted by his supervising tutor that he was only good for taking sets of fingerprints, who also relished pointing out errors in his paperwork, despite the fact that a specially adapted laptop with voice recognition software could have enabled him to complete necessary paperwork.

Brooking eventually resigned in January 2006 and has since worked successfully as a police community support officer at Leigh-on-Sea in Essex.

Stratford Employment Tribunal ruled: “Essex Police failed to appreciate that the duty to make reasonable adjustments rests with it.

“Where a disabled employee is able to assist with ideas and suggestions, this is welcome but the burden of dealing with this should never be shifted to them.”

A spokesperson for Essex Police said: “Essex Police is a learning organisation and will consider all recommendations given by the tribunal judgment.”

Click here for more information on dyslexia.

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