Employees of MP’s Make Daily Complaints about Sexual Harassment

 

sex harassment

It was recently reported in the Sunday Express that a helpline set up by Health Assured receives calls on a daily basis from employees of MP’s suffering with Sexual Harassment. See our full article at http://www.michaellewin.co.uk/westminster-employees-bullying-harrassment

The legal position for those who have suffered with such behaviour is complex however Michael Lewin Solicitors are specialists in these types of claims and are able to advise and assist you.

If you believe that you would benefit from legal advice on this matter or believe you may have a claim against your employer, please call us on 0844 499 9302 or email stress@michaellewin.co.uk

Missionary Claims Demon Made Him Rape Children

rape

After confessing to the abuse of ten children in Kenya between the ages four and ten, whilst volunteering at a children’s home, Matthew Lane Durham also confessed to being possessed by a demon whom he had named Luke. He believed that it was the demon who had made him commit these crimes against children at the home, one of which had HIV.

His beliefs were backed up by text messages shown in court documents to his friend, talking about his alter-ego controlling his actions. They read: “Literally he takes me at night and there is nothing I can do to stop him…. I’ve prayed so much, but every night Luke gets what Luke wants.”

He has now confessed to all crimes in writing, on video, and has admitted to a life-long struffle of trying to control his desires to touch children.  He now faces life in prison, with charges of engaging in illegal sexual conduct in foreign places, aggravated sexual abuse with children and more.

rape

The indictment alleges that he planned to travel from Oklahoma (his home town) to Kenya, specifically to engage in sexual activities with children. The Upendo Children’s Home near Nairobi where he stayed, was founded on the pledge to help provide food, housing, clothes and academic and religious instruction to children in need.

In one of his confessions, Durham wrote: “I took her to the bathroom and forced her to have sex with me. This has happened on more than one occasion.” However, despite this his parents refuse to believe the allegations. Durham’s attorney, Stephen Jones, also believes his confessions are false, and stated he thinks they are a result of some sort of pseudo-tribal psychological voodoo. He also claimed that his confessions were coerced by orphanage officials, who kept him in isolation and confiscated his passport.

rape

The judge has now agreed to release Durham to his family’s home in Edmond with a bond of $10,000, despite prosecutors plea to keep him detained, calling him a danger to society and referring to the possibility of him fleeing. However, his father has been named custodian, and has taken leave from work to care for his son. Duhram has been made to surrender his passport, refrain from using cellphones and computers, and avoid contact with children, witnesses or alleged victims.

Michael Lewin

Less Staff Means Less Help For Injured Veterans

veteransWith fewer staff dealing with cases of injured or disabled veterans, many have been left unemployed, without income and a heightened mental anguish. Ms Temour described the situation by saying: “You’ve got to adapt to a completely new environment and to your injuries… But you can’t move on with your life until it’s sorted.” The waiting time for compensation claims has reportedly increased from 82 days in 2012, to 219 days in 2014.

Despite Veterans UK claiming their service is in fact improving, a letter seen by the BBC from Defence Minister Anna Soubry, revealed they were aware of a backlog, and that staff were under extreme pressure. Last year, claims increased by 36,000, a total of 16 percent.

Alex Ford, 44, referred to the delays as a “little form of torture.” He suffered from a slipped disc, and then have to take redundancy in 2012 to care for his wife, who suffered from back injuries whilst serving as a staff sergeant. He was diagnosed with depressed six months after returning from Afghanistan, however did not receive any compensation until May 2014.

veteransA similar scenario occurred with Chris Yates who worked for the Royal Engineers. In 2011, he was struck by a truck tailgate that had given way. As a result, he suffered from prolapsed discs, a paralysed bladder, severe kidney damage and also mental side effects, such as depression.

He applied for compensation in early 2012, however was only given an interim payment of £3,000 in February 2013, and told his case would be reviewed one year later. However when he rang back this year, he was repeatedly told to call back, and later told his case had been passed on to a case worker. In other words, he had been put into another queue. He was then told he would have to wait for another few weeks, because they were dealing with thousands of backlogged cases. Yates was medically discharged in 2014, meaning he is awating his pension. However in the meantime, all his income has stopped and he is unable to work.

Although MOD maintain they are doing their best and services are improving, many argue more needs to be done to help injured veterans. Madeline Moon, an MP who sits on the defence select committee, criticized the government who have blamed the backlog on an increasing claim culture, and the 12,000 redundancies in the armed forces since 2011. She stated it was extremely offensive, to talk about a claiming culture when these men and women had put their lives and future on the line to serve our country.

Michael Lewin

Father Of Two Dies Saving Family From Fire Caused By Faulty Fridge

faulty fridge

Yet another faulty switch manufactured for consumption has been the cause of death. Father of two, Santosh Benjamin-Muthiah, was just 36 years-old when he awoke with his wife and child to a room filled with smoke.

His wife Jennifer, said: “I woke up and I remember coughing. I remember Santosh coughing. I told him to get out and get the children. I was shouting. I said he should go last so he could pass me out.”

faulty fridgeSantosh reportedly passed his three month-old baby out to his neighbour to safety, and his other daughter Anna, 3, escaped onto the roof of their home. However, Santosh was unable to climb out the first floor window, because his feet were getting caught on the window sill. Firefighters later found him slumped by the basin in the bathroom. He died as a result of a lack of oxygen to the brain after inhaling the fumes.

The Beko fridge/freezer model had a history of fire risk, and the Fire Brigade had allegedly sent numerous letters to the company warning them about their product. Santosh’s wife said the fridge had been playing up recently, and that she had planned to call up the company. However, she was on maternity leave and was busy with the children. She stated that if she had known it was an urgent issue, she would have acted sooner. She also said that if the product had been recalled she would have removed the fridge.

The court heard the fire was caused by a malfunction on the defrost switch. Beko has now recalled the product, however there remains no conclusive reason for the timer failure, and they stated that the failure can only be found in a relatively small number of products.

Faulty switches in products have caused numerous deaths globally. If you believe you have a harmful product, check recall lists or remove the product from your home. If you have been harmed due to product liability, contact us now.

Michael Lewin

Easier For Employers To Get Away With Inappropriate Behaviour?

discrimination

You have been harassed/bullied/underpaid. You have been discriminated against because of your sex/gender. What do you do?

Well for many, the normal route of an employment tribunal is no longer an option. Due to legal fees introduced by the coalition in July last year, many can no longer afford to take their cases to court, or find the cost is more than the amount they are attempting to recover, according to the TUC (Trades Union Congress). In other terms, their channel of justice has been swept away, much to the elation of many employers, who are now free to act however they wish, with no repercussions.

Many believe this new legislation has eradicated workers’ basic rights and does not account for the vulnerable. The Ministry of Justice released official statistics, which has highlighted a 79 percent drop in claims, particularly by women. This raises concern in itself, because the gender pay gap widened for the first time in five years last year, with women in full-time work earning 15.7 percent less per hour than men.

Pregnancy claims have also decreased by one quarter, with only 3 percent of women now seeking compensation after losing their jobs. Where is the justice for women in that?

Those who are claiming for bullying/harassment or have been sacked as a result of their gender, now have to pay £1,200 in order to take their cases to court. If they are attempting to recover unpaid wages or holiday pay, they are obligated to pay a fee of up to £390. Many criticise the movement, saying that employers now have little threat to follow regulations.

Michael Lewin

Editor Claims Religious Discrimination After Fired For Homophobia

homophobia

A US newspaper editor claims he is the victim of religious discrimination, after being fired for writing homophobic comments on a personal blog. Bob Eschliman, a member of the Christian Reformed Church of Newton, claimed the “gaystapo” was trying to “reword the Bible to make their sinful nature right with God.”

The president of Newton Daily News, John Rung, stated that whilst Eschliman was entitled to his own opinions, his public declaration had jeopardized the reputation of the newspaper, and also his ability to lead it.

However the claim filed states Eschliman’s dismissal violated his constitutional rights of religious expression. He has complained to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, with the argument his job was terminated as a result of his religious beliefs. His case has been taken on by a legal firm who advocate religious freedom.

His case has also recieved attention off Matt Whitaker, a former US attorney. He agreed with Eschliman, that his dismissal goes against the law because “no one should be fired for simply expressing his religious beliefs in public.” He then continued to say that this type of behaviour by employers would not be tolerated in the contemporary workforce.

Eschliman has stated that since he was let go, it has become increasingly difficult to find another job, despite being an award winning journalist. However, many argue that Eschliman deserves to lose his job, as displaying strong homophobic views does not demonstrate his own belief in equality and fairness, although that is what he seeks for himself.

Michael Lewin

760 People Killed By Deadly Dust In Leeds

asbestos Asbestos-related deaths can take up to 50 years to act. There are no immediate or warning signs, and now over 2,500 people in the UK are diagnosed with the disease every year.

Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelial cells. These cells make up the membrane (lining) that covers the outer surface of most of our body’s organ. There are two types. Pleural mesothelioma, the most common type, which develops in the tissue covering the lungs, and peritoneal mesothelioma, which develops in the lining of the tummy (abdomen).

The disease is incurable, and Leeds now has the highest mortality rate in the country, with 760 people dying from Mesothelioma since 1981. Experts have also predicted this rate will not peak until 2020.

It is caused by inhaling deadly asbestos dust, and some are affected who have not been working with consumer and industrial products, including textiles, insulation and building material. An example of this is June Hancock. Her daughter, Kimberly Stubbs, said her asbestos-related death was caused by years of growing up in Armley and playing in asbestos dust. She blamed the JW Roberts factory for spewing asbestos dust out onto the streets.

Stubbs stated the disease is in “our schools, our public buildings, even in houses” and called this “frightening, distressing and altogether unacceptable.” She said that we need to realise Mesothelioma is a disease in our past, present and future.

Before her mother’s death, June won an almighty case against the firm’s parent company for asbestos-related illness. In 1997, the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund was started, and since then the charity has managed to raise over £3.3 million.

Former Leeds West MP, John Battle, said he believes the number of deaths will be higher in a few years time, and that Mesothelioma is a terrible death that drags people through “the gates of hell.” He finished by saying June’s campaign needs to be continued in order to help those who are diagnosed with Mesothelioma.

Michael Lewin

Are Veterans Lying About PTSD?

PTSD

Ex-military are able to obtain £3,000 per month in benefits, depending upon the severity of their symptoms. However, a number of psychologists have began raising concerns as to how many veterans are fabricating or exaggerating their post-war symptoms, in order to receive PTSD benefits.

Robert Moering, a former marine himself and now a psychologist conducting disability examinations, gave the example of one of his patients, aged 49. The man claimed he suffered from paranoia in crowds, nightmares, and unrelenting flashbacks, all of which Moering described as textbook symptoms. He also said that he needed a handgun to feel secure and was afraid he would shoot somebody.

However Moering suspected him of exaggerating because hardly anyone with PTSD has so many symptoms so much of the time, and those suffering from nightmares and concentration problems usually find it subsides after a few weeks. The man also wanted an increase in benefits when he was already receiving $1600. Moering made him take three tests, designed to detect dishonest patients by looking at highly unlikely response patterns. The results indicated he was not telling the truth, however Moering could not be certain whether everything he said was fabricated, or merely stretched.

PTSDChristopher Frueh, who spent 15 years treating PTSD in the VA system, described veteran benefit fraud as an “open secret”. For example, there are numerous online forums where soldiers give advice on how to act during examinations. One man wrote: “dress poorly and do not shower… refuse to sit with your back to the door.. constantly scan the room.” Others said if the examiner asked about homicidal thoughts, to say something like: “doesn’t everyone, I mean didn’t you ever think about killing someone?” Veterans were also told to fail memory and other cognitive tests.

It is believed these forums have been constructed as an attempt to give back soldiers what they deserve after serving their country. However, exaggeration can also be a sign of distress itself. Senior VA mental health officials argue that the extent of malingering is impossible to know. After all, someone may suffer tremendously from an experience that would not have affected another had it happened to them.

PTSDThe other problem is the fact these men have served in the army. It is governmental policy to give veterans the benefit of the doubt, and psychologists have to be careful if they do expect foul play. An example of this is Gail Poyner. She worked as a psychologist but was dismissed in 2010 after insisting on giving veterans tests to determine whether or not they were exaggerating. She stated: “It’s political… It’s not prudent to suggest people who have served our country are not being honest.”

Michael Lewin