A FORMER Penarth Leisure Centre employee has alleged that he had a replica firearm pointed at his head and was forced to lie down on the floor and pretend to be a hostage.

Nabeel Rahman, who was appearing at an employment tribunal where he is claiming racial harassment, racial discrimination and victimisation, claimed that he was forced to pose for a photograph with a colleague pointing an “airsoft gun” at his head.

He, along with his colleagues Scott Roberts and Andrew Mifsud, is pursuing a claim for harassment and victimisation. Mr Roberts and Mr Mifsud are claiming associative racial discrimination.

Mr Rahman said that he didn’t raise a grievance about the incident at the time as he didn't believe he had enough evidence to prove it and it would be his word against theirs.

He added about the situation during the photo: "I'm doing as I'm told. I'm doing that as there is a gun that could pierce my skull right behind my head. I'm not going to stick around and push it to find out."

He added: "They said ‘one way or another this is going to happen’ and when the gun was pointed at my face I complied with what they wanted to do to stop it from escalating."

The Vale of Glamorgan Council, represented by the barrister Declan O'Dempsey and the solicitor Philip Pepper, representing Parkwood Leisure Limited, which subsequently took over the running of the leisure centre, allege that he complied and actively participated in the situation.

"We know that Mr Rahman was perfectly capable of raising a grievance as he was in the process of raising one. It is mind boggling that such a serious incident is not drawn to the attention of anyone else,” said Mr O’Dempsey.

"The reason why there was no complaint was that he was not bothered and he was an active and willing participant."

The electrically powered gun is used in the sport of airsoft where players take part in the simulation of military combat. The gun in question can fire six millimetre plastic ball bearings, but at the time the magazine was not attached to it and there was no risk of an accidental discharge.

Richard Cooper, who owned the equipment, had brought the gun, as well as camouflaged clothing, into the leisure centre as he was due to use it that weekend in the Brecon Beacons to participate in airsoft.

Dave Knevett, operational manager for leisure and tourism at the Vale Council, said: "The allegation made is extremely serious and certainly not something we would expect to sweep under the carpet."

The tribunal previously heard that the three claimants believed they were the victims of a 'personal witch hunt' from the leisure centre's acting manager Jamie Morgans.

The trio had originally been suspended for allegedly clocking each other in for their respective shifts before they brought the employment tribunal case.

Scott Roberts, who has represented the three colleagues himself, has alleged that the clocking in cards were tampered with and that CCTV footage was edited in a bid to build up a case against them.

Jamie Morgans was asked to give evidence but was unable to due to health problems.

He has since "gone on record to deny all of the allegations" in a written statement.

Mr O'Dempsey said that Mr Morgans had good reason to refer the claimants to audit.

"They were suspended due to clocking irregularities on a scale of which represented a serious offence may have taken place.”

He added: "The claimants haven't produced any real evidence to show that the cards were fabricated, let alone irrefutable evidence that the cards were fabricated."

He added: "My submission is that it is heavily unlikely that the setting of the time cards were in any way tampered with. We say that the claimants have simply failed to establish their primary facts in a number of different ways."

Scott Roberts questioned the reliability of the time cards in his submission: "We all know we were suspended and the evidence was recorded on his laptop, which was unsafe and unreliable as we had grievances against him."

The judgement from the tribunal is likely in the next few weeks.