A chef caught with illegal drugs outside his place of work has won an unfair dismissal case against his employer on a legal technicality.
David Lloyd Leisure, owned by the Whitbread chain, sacked Ellesmere Port chef Robert Wilson, 21, after he was found with cannabis.
Wilson was caught with the drugs in a car park opposite the leisure centre by security guards. He was suspended and then sacked three weeks later following a police warning.
Although the tribunal last week ruled David Lloyd Leisure was within its rights to sack him for bringing the company into disrepute, it said Wilson should not have been disciplined while police were investigating the case.
Wilson claimed his personal rights had been infringed under the Human Rights Act and won £175 compensation - a week's pay.
A spokesman for David Lloyd said the company had no formal drugs policy but did not tolerate criminal activity among its staff.
He added, "The tribunal agreed that we were within our rights to sack him - but it was the process that caused the problem.
"While they are at work we have to ensure our employees are functioning properly - which they might not do if they are taking banned substances."