A FORMER employee of Penarth Leisure Centre who claimed he was the victim of a “personal witch hunt” has been awarded £5,000 in compensation.

Nabeel Rahman, who was represented by his friend and former colleague Scott Roberts in an employment tribunal that first started in February 2013, had two complaints of victimisation upheld and was awarded compensation for injury to feelings of £5,000, as well as interest of £66.92, at an employment tribunal in June this year.

His claim for racial discrimination was dismissed, while both his former colleagues Scott Roberts and Andrew Mifsud also had their claims for victimisation, harassment and associative racial discrimination dismissed.

The trio, who have now all left their jobs, first appeared at an employment tribunal in Cardiff in February last year, with a series of delays meaning compensation wasn’t awarded until 16 months later.

They brought the case to an employment tribunal after they had been suspended in December 2011 for allegedly clocking each other in for their respective shifts.

Mr Roberts told the tribunal during his evidence that he believed CCTV footage and clock-in machines were tampered with in a bid to build a case up against the three friends.

Following the conclusion of the tribunal Mr Rahman said he felt vindicated by the result: “I was over the moon as it was what I had been waiting so long for.

“It justified everything I had been talking about.”

He added: “I was there from when I was 16 and it’s only when you step outside that you realise what it was like.”

He added that the process, which took more than a year, was “unbelievably frustrating”.

Scott Roberts, who represented himself as well as both Mr Rahman and Mr Mifsud, said that although only one of them was successful they still felt “vindicated” by the result.

“It just goes to show that you don’t need a barrister costing thousands of pounds as if you are right, and can prove it, you can win.

“You have got to have courage of your convictions if you are right and fight for it.”

Debbie Marles, Head of Legal Services at the Vale Council, said: “The council has robust anti-discrimination procedures in place and is committed to the fair and equitable treatment of all staff and was therefore disappointed in this judgement which has been carefully considered.

"Counsel was instructed in this matter in line with the council’s procedures.”