MoD Apologises To Lesbian Soldier

Woman Now Seeking Ministry Of Defence Compensation


A lesbian soldier has received an apology from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) after she was sexually harassed by a male sergeant.

Lance Bombardier Kerry Fletcher, 32, is now seeking compensation after winning her claims against the MoD for sex discrimination, victimisation and sexual harassment following an earlier employment tribunal.

Miss Fletcher, originally from Sheffield, was offered an apology by MoD representative Monica Carss-Frisk QC at a remedy hearing in Leeds.

Ms Carss-Frisk told the tribunal panel: "Can I just make it clear I do, on behalf of the MoD, offer an apology for the conduct that led to your findings."

Miss Fletcher, who is openly gay, is seeking compensation of up to £400,000 for her humiliation at an Army stables in North Yorkshire where she said the unnamed staff sergeant pestered her for sex and then tried to destroy her career because she spurned his advances.

She handed in her notice in February after serving in the Army for 10 years, claiming her position became "untenable" after she won her case against the MoD.

However, Ms Carss-Frisk said the MoD did not accept Miss Fletcher had handed in her notice as a result of the discrimination and said it was likely she would have left the Army anyway.

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James Wright from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "It can be difficult for an employee to demonstrate they left their employment in response to an employer's actions. Employers need to consider whether there procedures, including equal opportunities policies, are robust enough to minimise the chance of such compensation claims arising."