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Monday 27 March 2017

Hairdresser left 'traumatised' by sacking gets €25k

Lindsey Bright pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday. Photo: Collins Courts
Lindsey Bright pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday. Photo: Collins Courts

A former hairdresser who was allegedly intimidated and frightened by her ex-employer after she was sacked has been awarded €25,000 damages.

Lindsey Bright, who sued Patridge (in liquidation), which traded as Boston Brand Bars, told the Circuit Civil Court that she was a manager at the Balbriggan salon in Millfield Shopping Centre when the incident happened in January 2012.

Pat Purcell, counsel for Ms Bright, said the then-managing director approached her, accused her of theft and larceny and told her to leave.

Ms Bright said he told her to collect her belongings, but when she tried to do so he had prevented her from taking her items from her locker.

She said she was in shock and asked why she was being sacked but was told to keep quiet.

The court heard that the man, who was 6ft 2in tall, refused to let her pass to access her locker.

She told Judge Karen Fergus that, after she eventually managed to collect a few items, he tried to grab them.

He had been incredibly angry and had "pushed past" her, grabbing her hand to stop her from taking items off the wall.

Petrified

Ms Bright, of Castleknock Brook, Castleknock, but who now lives in Darwin, Australia, said the incident lasted 20 minutes but it had felt "like hours".

She had been "terrified, petrified and shaking".

Her sleep had been disturbed following the incident and she had later needed to attend her GP, complaining of exhaustion.

Mr Purcell said Ms Bright suffered anxiety and attended counselling sessions.

She sued her ex-employer, with a registered address at Erris Square, Waterville, Blanchardstown, for personal injuries.

Counsel said the company was in liquidation and its liquidator was on notice of the legal proceedings.

He said judgment in default of appearance had already been obtained against the defendant and the case was one of assessment of the damages only.

Ms Bright had won an unfair dismissals claim against the defendant at the Employment Appeals Tribunal but had not been able to recover any money.

The judge said she was satisfied Ms Bright had suffered a frightening and intimidating experience, which had left her traumatised for some time.

She said Ms Bright had made a full recovery and had started a new career in Australia. She awarded her €25,000 damages.

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