By: Eastern Eye Staff
A VIP close protection officer who guarded members of the royal family and Tony Blair has received a £457,000 payout after being called “just a Paki” and enduring years of abuse by colleagues.
Nadeem Saddique, 45, the only Asian in his unit with Cleveland police, was targeted by superiors on a night out who called him a “black cunt” and said he was “just a Paki.”
He has been unable to return to work after a long-running battle with the Middlesborough police force.
One colleague had an English Defence League sticker, which made reference to employment tribunal was told last year Muslims and a crusade, on their holster, but this was not properly investigated, an employment tribunal was told last year.
A remedy hearing in Middlesbrough ruled that Saddique should receive more than £457,000 for his ordeal, which meant he could no longer be a police officer.
After the ruling on Thursday (3), Saddique said: “This has been a lengthy and extremely difficult process, which has taken a serious toll on my health and my family.
“I never wanted it to go as far as a tribunal, but after experiencing problems with discrimination for a number of years within the force and exhausting all avenues internally without success, I had to do something. I hope the hearing this week will finally enable me to put the whole episode behind me.”
Saddique trained as an authorised firearms officer in 2001 and five years later he became a VIP close protection officer.
He was the only Asian member of the force’s firearms unit and felt he was unfairly treated when he was removed from VIP duties.
Saddique claimed a sergeant confided in him at a gym in 2008 or 2009 that an inspector had told another officer: “I’ll get that black cunt out of firearms, watch.”
The officer apparently agreed and allegedly replied: “Who does he think he is, he is just a Paki.”
The comments were overheard during a night out in the Black Bull pub in Yarm, Teesside, when Saddique was not present.
The tribunal panel said that evidence was hearsay, but that they believed Saddique was telling the truth.
His lawyer, Clare Armstrong, from Slater and Gordon, said: “This outcome reflects the seriousness of the offences and the impact it has had on PC Saddique and his career.
“PC Saddique was a dedicated police officer in the force but he was subjected to terrible treatment for years and his career derailed simply because of the colour of his skin.
“It is very clear that the force needs to take steps in order to give the public confidence this will not happen again.”
Saddique, from Ingleby Barwick, Teesside, began an employment tribunal against the force in 2011, claiming race discrimination, harassment and bullying.
He settled with his employer without receiving any money on the understanding that he would be given access to training and would regain his VIP protection status, which he felt he had lost unfairly, when he returned to work.
But since then a personal development plan had not been properly implemented, and his career had stalled.
Cleveland police said it had apologised and made changes.
A spokeswoman said: “We have reviewed many of our policies as a result of this case and, as part of our Everyone Matters project, have delivered training sessions on equality, diversity and human rights and cultural awareness to the wider organisation.
“We are saddened that Mr Saddique is unable to progress his career as a police officer and wish him well for the future.
“The IPCC [Independent Police Complaints Commission] investigation into the case is continuing, therefore it would be inappropriate to comment on this aspect of the case at this stage.”