A creepy boss bombarded an employee with more than 2,500 texts and threatened to have her murdered if she reported him to HR, a tribunal heard.
Soon after Kim Beaney joined Highways England, her boss Grant Bosence started sending her text messages, often with semi-naked photos attached, trying to persuade her to start a relationship with him.
Ms Beaney told an employement tribunal that when she turned him down, Bosence, 53, told her he could have her “killed and buried for four grand”.
She said the campaign of harassment started on the day she had her first interview for the £18,000-a-year job.
"I saw this job as a chance to begin a new career with good future prospects that would allow me to provide for my family,” she told the hearing.
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“Instead, I suffered months of harassment. I felt I had no option but to continue speaking to him for fear of losing my job.
“He told me he was not to be crossed and that he was responsible for hiring and firing staff.
"But I was in no position to say what I really wanted – which, believe me, would have been blunt and to the point.
"I knew the job would be withdrawn if I said anything.”
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Over a two month period, the 40-year-old mum of two said Bosence sent her dozens of messages by text and through Facebook.
Despite her telling him that she wanted “a job and not a man” he refused to take no for an answer.
In the flurry of messages seen by the tribunal, Bosence called Ms Beaney "hot", "beautiful" and "sexy", and sent her "partially clothed" pictures with his muscles on show.
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At one point Bosence arranged with a colleague to have Ms Beaney moved to a different depot in order to exert more control over her.
Eventually, she complained to Highways England’s HR department, but Bosence told them that she had been pursuing him, and the inquiry was dropped.
She resigned from the job, and lodged her claims of sexual harassment, direct discrimination and discriminatory dismissal with a Nottingham Employment Tribunal.
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Government-funded Highways England spent more than £80,000 of taxpayers’ money defending the case, freedom of information documents reveal.
Bosence told the tribunal: ”I've worked for Highways England for 15 years without a mark on my record. I haven't been subject to any disciplinary proceedings over this.
"I don't believe I have done anything wrong."
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Ms Beaney said: "On top of having to deal with the inappropriate and unwanted attention from men who had direct power over my job, I was then left horrified by the response of Highways England to my complaints.
"I didn't feel like they took it seriously at all and I was not believed from the outset.
"I was determined to have this case heard in public so others will hopefully see that this sort of harassment is not right."
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In the tribunal judgement, employment judge Elizabeth Heap ruled: “Mr Bosence made it clear that he wanted to have a physical relationship with her despite her referring on many occasions that she wanted nothing more than friendship.
Judge Heap added that Ms Beaney "found messages from him suggesting that they engage in physical activity and his attempts to kiss her upsetting, humiliating and offensive".
Ms Beaney was awarded £74,000 in compensation after successfully suing Highways England, Mr Bosence and another worker.
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A Highways England spokesman said: "We are committed to providing an inclusive and safe workplace, in which individuals are valued and respected.
"The type of behaviour involved in this case is completely unacceptable and does not align with our values.
"The case has been thoroughly investigated internally, and as a result we have revised and updated our policies and procedures, to help prevent further such occurrences.
"We're continually reviewing our processes to prevent cases like this happening and improving the way we support our employees raising issues."
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