By Ian Lewis, senior consultant in company commercial law and employment law at Bray & Bray.
Following a 10-year court battle, a fingerprints expert has won her case and is set to receive in the region of £300,000 in compensation after being unfairly dismissed by the Scottish Police Authority.
Fiona McBride was sacked from her job as a leading fingerprints expert in 2007 following a high-profile case, where hers and four other experts’ identification of a thumbprint found at the home of a murder victim was that of a Detective Constable.
The accused was then cleared of perjury a year later, after two more fingerprint experts claimed that the fingerprint did not in fact belong to the Detective Constable. At this point, the Detective Constable was awarded £750,000 in compensation and Fiona McBride was sacked, suspected of having made a mistake.
However, McBride, who had been working in Glasgow as a fingerprint expert since 1984, maintained that her original fingerprint identification was not flawed.
Upon hearing McBride’s case at the Supreme Court in London, in January this year, five judges ruled that McBride was unfairly dismissed and ordered her reinstatement, with back pay from the date that she was dismissed.
Advice about unfair dismissal
Unfair dismissal is where an employee is removed from their job when an employer either has no good reason for the dismissal or didn’t follow the correct dismissal procedure when dismissing an employee. This can include being forced to retire.
If you think that your dismissal may have been at all unfair, or that the procedure relating to your dismissal was not carried out to the correct protocol and guidelines, speak to a specialist employment lawyer today by calling 0116 254 8871. Alternatively, you can email me with any questions that you may have, directly at firstname.lastname@example.org