BECTU member compensated after violent assault at work12 December 2014
Thompsons Solicitors and BECTU have secured compensation for a man injured in a terrifying attack by a colleague at work
A BECTU member, who was injured in a violent attack when a colleague attempted to stab him with a pair of scissors, has received more than £2,500 in compensation.
Peter Fermor, a BECTU member for eight years, was working for Bristol Film Television Services where he was responsible for the transport requirements of the television production team.
He was accused by the company director of breaking a generator - an accusation that he strongly denied and had no knowledge of. Suddenly the director, without warning, lunged towards him in the company’s tea room in an attempt to stab him. As he did so, the director shouted that he would “kill” him.
A colleague, who was present, was unable to restrain the company director as he violently pushed Mr Fermor against a wall by the throat, causing him to hit his head against the wall with enough force to make it bleed.
Following the assault, Mr Fermor and the colleague who had tried to assist him were forced to stay in the same room by the director for 40 minutes whilst he continued his verbal onslaught against them, despite Mr Fermor saying that he was unwell. The company director was formally cautioned by the police following the incident.
Mr Fermor contacted his trade union BECTU who instructed personal injury specialists, Thompsons Solicitors, to investigate a claim for compensation. Bristol Film and Television Services admitted liability for their senior employee’s attack on the company premises, and following negotiations, Thompsons secured £2,538 in compensation for Mr Fermor.
Mr Fermor said: “The attack was absolutely terrifying, I can’t bear to think what could have happened if another colleague hadn’t been in the room and was willing to intervene. I had undergone open heart surgery just a few years before the attack, and at one point I thought I was about to have a heart attack.
“I had worked at the company for 15 years so this was a really terrible way for my time there to come to an end. Thompsons and BECTU were absolutely brilliant, they were extremely supportive and it was obvious to me that they did the very best they could in what was a very traumatic case.”
BECTU general secretary, Gerry Morrissey, said: “Violent and aggressive behaviour like this should not happen anywhere, and certainly not in the workplace. Thankfully another employee came to Mr Fermor’s assistance, otherwise this attack could have had very different consequences.
“While we are disappointed that more serious criminal action was not taken against this violent individual, we are pleased to have secured compensation, together with Thompsons Solicitors, for our member.”
Dimuna Gething, at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Mr Fermor suffered a distressing attack by a senior director based on an entirely false accusation. It is the responsibility of an employer to ensure that all staff under employment behave in an appropriate and professional nature. Unfortunately, Bristol Film Television Services failed to do so and our client has been rightly compensated.”
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