Bisexual prison officer was abused because of his sexuality in Milton Keynes

Ben Plaistow was allegedly punched, slapped, called a ‘p**f’ and ‘vermin’ and had pink fairy cakes smeared inside his work bag.

Thursday, 30th May 2019, 1:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th May 2019, 2:08 pm
Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes

He had a bottle of water squirted in his face in the staff room, and one colleague even dug her fingernails into his face, the tribunal heard.

Mr Plaistow, 41, worked at Woodhill for just under two years and said the abuse happened on a daily basis.

He said colleagues coloured in his work badge and bag with a pink permanent marker and taunted him about his haircut and “tidy uniform”.

Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes

When lodged multiple complaints to management, but said he received no redress.

Then, in 2016, Mr Plaistow was dismissed from his job after prison bosses accused him of gross misconduct.

In February this year he took his case to a tribunal, where the judge found he had actually been dismissed because of his complaints about the vile abuse he suffered.

Colleague claimed the remarks and actions were just “good natured banter”.

But Judge Ord said at the tribunal: “The colouring of the claimant’s bag and the refusal to replace it, meaning that he had to carry a pink coloured bag to and at work on a daily basis, were acts of harassment designed to create a humiliating or offensive environment.”

He added: “There is a pattern of conduct within the senior management of HMP Woodhill. It is a pattern of conduct which turns a blind eye to the bullying conduct which the claimant suffered.”

During the tribunal, it was alleged that certain documents had been altered or redacted by government officials after Mr Plaistow’s dismissal.

These included a letter from Mr Plaistow to his MP Andrea Leadsom about the abuse he was experiencing.

He wrote: “I’m not an officer any more. I’m a little p**f. I’ve had water thrown over me. My personal possessions and some of my uniform have been coloured pink.”

But the MoJ did not disclose this letter until very late in the proceedings.

This week the Guardian newspaper revealed that the Ministry of Justice is conducting an internal review into the alleged altered or withheld documents.

The MoJ has confirmed an internal review is under way into the matter.