A former Royal Mail postman sacked after the police raided his home and discovered cocaine and cannabis has won £3,500 compensation for unfair dismissal.
Scott Curdie, 26, of Killermont Place, Kilwinning, Ayrshire, was charged with possessing Class A and Class B drugs with intent to supply in June 2009, and Royal Mail initially suspended him after he missed work over the incident.
At a subsequent disciplinary hearing, he told his manager that he had purchased the drugs at a ‘festival’. Notes from the meeting also record him stating ‘he had planned to share the drugs with friends’, although Mr Curdie denies ever saying this.
In August 2009, Mr Curdie received a letter of dismissal, which stated: “Your use of illegal substances could damage the reputation of the company and is unacceptable.”
Two months later, and now unemployed, Mr Curdie appeared at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court and received a fine of £300 after admitting two drugs possession charges. He pled not guilty to the intent to supply charge, however, which the court accepted.
He then launched a claim for unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal in Glasgow.
Brian Cassidy, an appeal casework manager, appeared before the tribunal and said he thought Mr Curdie intended to share the drugs with his friends and that he was a ‘drug dealer’.
But Mr Curdie’s father, Thomas, representing his son, said the reasons given by Mr Cassidy were ‘flawed’. He highlighted his son co-operated fully with the company throughout the disciplinary process.
The employment tribunal, led by Judge Frances Eccles, agreed and awarded Mr Curdie £3,572 in compensation. Judge Eccles said: “The tribunal was not satisfied that there was sufficient evidence before Mr Cassidy to reach such a conclusion.”
- Postman found with drugs stash wins unfair dismissal (STV)
- Unfair dismissal (Findlaw.co.uk)
- Unfair dismissal news (The Solicitor)
- Employment law Q&A (Community forum)
- Find an employment solicitor (Contact Law)
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