Woman wins sexual harassment claim against 'inappropriate' boss of Milton Keynes company

James Stratford
James Stratford

A female sales manager has won a legal claim for sexual harassment by the boss of a Milton Keynes firm after he allegedly wanted her to sleep with him.

Ms Emma Groman who preferred to be known by her maiden name of Woolf, made her legal claim against Universal Science (UK) Ltd of Milton Keynes and the managing director Mr James Stratford.

The Wolverton Mill firm provides thermal cooling materials for electronic assemblies and lighting.

The hearing was held some weeks ago at Cambridge Employment Tribunal, where where tribunal Judge Cassel said he would make a decision at a later date.

Now the judge has issued a report announcing that Ms Groman was sexually harassed by Mr Stratford.

The tribunal was told that the firm made arrangements to take part in a Lux Live event in London and overnight accommodation was arranged at the Rojen Apartments.

At the following event dinner witnesses alleged Mr Stratford had a “considerable amount of alcohol” and leaned his body into Ms Groman’s at the dinner table causing her to look uncomfortable and embarrassed.

The tribunal was told that his behaviour had allegedly been “inappropriate.”

Mr Stratford denied he had not had too much to drink and denied he had been over familiar. He said he and Ms Groman were “basically enjoying each other’s company.”

The Judge said, however, that the tribunal preferred the evidence of two witnesses who claimed that Mr Stratford had “acted inappropriately”at the dinner.

Later, Mr Stratford was alleged to have asked Ms Groman to give him a shoulder massage, which she refused.

He then allegedly asked her to sleep with him and at one stage was said to have been wearing boxer shorts.

The tribunal was told that Ms Groman went to her room and locked the door.

She later resigned from her job in protest over what had happened.

Mr Stratford again denied all the allegations.

Judge Cassel said: “We were in little doubt that the claimant’s allegation of sexual harassment was well founded. The claimant’s evidence was consistent throughout.”

The judge is to make a decision about remedy at a hearing in September.