Supplement to Newsletter
Edited by Eddie Fernandes,
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Don D'souza
Important links not included in this supplement as they are available on the Internet: 
1. 25th May 2001. Royal Courts of Justice. Strand, London.
2.19 June 2003 the House of Lords judgment in the case of Donald D'Souza v. London Borough of Lambeth. For text go to:

10 August 2004. Personnel Today (UK)
A man has been banned from bringing claims to employment tribunals. Donald D'Souza brought seven cases against the London Borough of Lambeth between 1987 and 1989. One of his claims reached the House of Lords in June 2003, but was rejected on the facts. He brought eight more cases between 1997 and 2004, and the Attorney General argued that this second series rendered D'Souza a vexatious litigant. The EAT has agreed and made a 'restriction of proceedings' order against him.

Contents of this supplement
1. Evening Standard (London) May 23, 1997. Lambeth faces £400,000 bill over race case
2. The Evening Standard (London) October 10, 1997. £358,000 for race case man branded 'nutter'
3. The Times October 11, 1997. Asian wins Pounds 350,000 over race bias
4. The Mirror. October 11, 1997. Sacked Man Wins Pounds 360k.
5. The Guardian. October 11, 1997. Pounds 358,000 For 'Worst' Job Racism.
6.Daily Mail (London) October 11, 1997. This Man Has Won £360,000 From A Council For Discrimination. That Would Pay 16 Teachers For A Year
7. Computer Weekly October 30, 1997 Tribunal Orders £358,000 Pay-Out To Ex-It Manager
8. The Week Nov. 23 1997. Summary of case to Nov 1997.

May 23, 1997.
HEADLINE: Lambeth faces £400,000 bill over race case
BY Paul Waugh

BRITAIN'S largest ever payout for racial discrimination loomed over a London council today as it faced a £400,000 compensation claim from an Asian worker it sacked.

Indian-born Don D'Souza claimed unfair dismissal and racial victimisation when he lost his £28,000-a-year job as a computer officer in Lambeth seven years ago.

Since then, two industrial tribunals have ruled that 61-year-old Mr D'Souza was discriminated against and have ordered Lambeth to reinstate him and pay backpay and compensation. Despite the scathing judgments against it, the council has refused to give him his job back or make any settlement and was due to put its case at an Employment Appeals Tribunal today.

However, it is understood that even Lambeth's own lawyers expect to lose the hearing and anticipate that the tribunal will issue a landmark judgment forcing them to pay up £400,000. Of this, £200,000 would go to Mr D'Souza and £200,000 to the Treasury as compensation for income support paid to him during the last seven years.

If the verdict does go against it, Lambeth will appeal. Yet even if it wins the appeal, the borough is preparing to pay out a minimum of £200,000.

The saga began in 1990 when the council fired Mr D'Souza without following its own disciplinary procedures in an attempt to get rid of him, by its own admission, as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Lambeth claimed that he was sacked because he had become 'impossible" to manage. Industrial tribunals have since backed Mr. D'Souza's claim that he was regularly passed over for promotion because of his colour and harassed by white staff.

When they dismissed Mr. D'Souza, council chiefs realised he could sue for unfair dismissal because normal procedures had not been followed, but calculated that the maximum he would be awarded was £13,000.

According to documents seen by the Evening Standard, the borough decided that it would be cheaper to dismiss him and not attend any of the expected industrial tribunal hearings. Mr D'Souza's sacking was approved by Lambeth's then leader, Left-winger Joan Twelves, and then chief executive John George.

An industrial tribunal found in 1992 that Mr. D'Souza had been victimised on grounds of his race and demanded his reinstatement with backpay of £84,000, but Lambeth refused. A second tribunal in 1993 also found the council guilty of discrimination for refusing to shortlist him when a new computer job was offered after his sacking in 1990.

Last December, a preliminary hearing of the current case before the Employment Appeals Tribunal indicated that the case today was likely to go against Lambeth.

A spokeswoman for Lambeth admitted today that the council was contesting the case but refused to give any details. 'We do not dispute the industrial tribunals' finding of guilt, but that is not what we are contesting,' she said.


October 10, 1997.
HEADLINE: £358,000 for race case man branded 'nutter'.
BY: Sandra Laville; Paul Waugh

A COMPUTER operator, who was labelled a "nutter" by his organisations chief executive, has made history by winning a £358,000 payout in Britain's biggest race discrimination award.

Indian-born Don D'Souza, who complained of constant racism, was celebrating victory after a seven-year battle with Lambeth council who sacked him from his £28,000a-year job as a computer officer.

But for his determination, 61-year-old Mr. D'Souza would have missed out on a law change in 1994 which abolished the £12,500 ceiling on race payouts. The council said today it was appealing against the decision made by an Employment Appeals Tribunal.

Mr. D'Souza, from Surbiton, claimed he was the victim of racial discrimination and was passed over for promotion. He constantly complained about the council's racism but his employers dismissed him as "paranoid".

He was awarded £24,925 from the authority after winning two industrial tribunals during his battle for compensation and reinstatement. Mr. D'Souza challenged these payouts, claiming he was owed back-pay and future loss of earnings until his retirement at 65.

In a landmark judgment the appeals tribunal revealed today they had upheld his claim and awarded him £358,288.73.

A spokesman for the Employment Appeal Tribunal said today: "I have worked here for 16 years and this is the largest amount that has been awarded to anybody in that time."

Lambeth's chief executive Heather Rab-batts confirmed that the council would appeal against the decision. She said: "There were significant mistakes made in this process at the time and that must be recognised but that is different from coming to a fair and reasonable settlement.

"There are now procedures in place to guard against this ever happening again. The judgment should reflect that."

The saga began in 1990 when the council fired Mr D'Souza without following its own disciplinary procedures to get rid of him, by its own admission, as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Out of 16 computer staff, Mr D'Souza was the only Asian employee. All his colleagues were white and kept their jobs in the department reshuffle in which he was sacked.

The then chief executive John George described Mr D'Souza as a "nutter" when his sacking was upheld at a meeting headed by then council leader Joan Twelves.

Lambeth claimed he was sacked because he became impossible to manage. It said he took issue with most decisions of his seniors and regularly claimed he was being racially discriminated against when he failed to get his own way. A source confirmed today that when the council sacked Mr D'Souza they realised he could take a tribunal case but calculated that the maximum he could be awarded was £13,000.

Saturday,October 11, 1997.
HEADLINE: Asian wins Pounds 350,000 over race bias.

BY: Alexandra Frean.

For text see

Saturday,October 11, 1997.
BY: Andy Gales.
A Sacked council worker yesterday won record damages for racial discrimination.

The pounds 358,288 payout ended a seven year battle for ex-computer officer Don D'Souza, 61.

Indian born Mr D'Souza was the only Asian in his department and the only one to lose his pounds 28,000-a-year job in a reshuffle in 1990, when London's Lambeth council sacked him without following their own disciplinary procedures.

Two years later an industrial tribunal said he should be reinstated with all back pay, rises and pension rights.

But the council did not take him back.

Another hearing in 1995 also said he had been discriminated against but still nothing happened.

Yesterday Employment Appeals Tribunal president Mr Justice Morison called it "the worst case of unlawful discrimination we have ever had to consider".

He accused the council of a "shameful" campaign of persistent discrimination and victimisation.

Mr D'Souza, of Surbiton, south west London, said later: "Lambeth could have saved its ratepayers the expense it has wasted on defending the indefensible."

Saturday,October 11, 1997.

BY: Alan Travis.

A FORMER computer operator has been awarded a record pounds 358,000 in what was yesterday described as the "worst case of persistent racial discrimination ever".

Don D'Souza, aged 62, who was born in India and lives in Surbiton, Surrey, was labelled a "nutter" by his employers, the Labour-controlled London borough of Lambeth, when he complained of constant racism at work and of being passed over for promotion.

After an eight-year battle in which Mr D'Souza secured an unprecedented four industrial tribunal rulings against his former employer, Lambeth last night admitted it had been in "an appalling mess" at the time, and said none of the other people involved was still working for the council. Mr D'Souza, who began
work in 1986, worked with 15 white staff. They all kept their jobs in a departmental reshuffle in 1990, while he was sacked from his pounds 28,000 a year post. The pounds 358,288 award under the 1976 Race Relations Act covers earnings and pension for the eight years Mr D'Souza has been out of work and future loss of earnings until retirement.

He said yesterday that had the council acted properly earlier, it would have allowed him to work for the people of Lambeth and it would not have wasted their money "defending the indefensible".

A council statement said that the case reflected some of the problems unearthed by a QC's investigation, and major reforms meant such "a catalogue of errors" could not happen again. However, it might appeal against the way the award was calculated.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling which led to the award said that, but for an unreserved apology by the present chief executive of Lambeth, Heather Rabbatts, it would have asked for an official inquiry into its race policies. It added that it was the worst such case the tribunal had had dealt with.

Saturday,October 11, 1997.

BY: Ian Cobain
THE biggest pay-out for racial discrimination in British legal history was being celebrated by an elderly Town Hall official last night.

Indian-born Don D'Souza, 62, won £360,000 from Lambeth Council after a seven-year battle over his sacking, described by a tribunal as the worst case it had heard.

Mr D'Souza insists he deserves every penny because the authority wrecked his career and deprived him of his livelihood.

But Lambeth, the South London council which was a byword for waste, corruption and far-Left intransigence in the Eighties and which is still desperately short of funds, says it cannot afford to pay. The Liberal Democrats are now the largest single party.

Lambeth Council sources confirmed last night that the money could have been used to employ 16 new teachers for a year, re-roof one of the borough's decaying schools, or build and staff a small nursery.

'We are already under considerable financial pressure, and we don't have the resources to cover this payment,' said a council spokesman. 'The cost will be met by the public purse. We can't say what services will be affected.' She admitted that Mr D'Souza's case had been handled 'appallingly' by council
officials, who have all since left the authority, but added that Lambeth is considering an appeal.

Mr D'Souza, a married man from Surbiton, Surrey, had worked as a £39,000a-year manager in the Town Hall's computer department for four years before he was suddenly sacked in 1990.

Council chiefs claimed that he had become 'impossible' to manage. But Mr D 'Souza said he was being harassed by white colleagues and had been repeatedly passed over for promotion because of his race.

At a tribunal two years later, the council admitted he had been unfairly dismissed, because its own procedures had been ignored, but denied racial discrimination.

Mr D'Souza won his case, however.

He was awarded £16,000, and the tribunal chairman ordered Lambeth to give him his job back.

The council paid out the cash in full, but refused to reemploy Mr D'Souza.

He went back to the tribunal in 1995 to protest, and was awarded a further £8,925, the maximum award at the time he was sacked. But Mr D'Souza, backed by the Commission for Racial Equality, argued that he should have been paid more because the ceiling on such awards had been lifted in 1994.

Yesterday the Employment Appeals Tribunal ruled that he was entitled to £358,288 and 73 pence, the amount he would have earned after tax from the time of his sacking to the date he was due to retire at 65 in the year 2000, plus the pension contributions he lost.

He is expected to hand over up to half his award to the Treasury to repay the income support he has received over the last seven years.

Lambeth's lawyers are understood to be planning an appeal against the way the sum was calculated, arguing that Mr D'Souza would have probably retired before 65 even if he was not sacked.

Mr D'Souza said yesterday: 'Had Lambeth acted properly at the beginning and reinstated me at an early stage, the financial loss they imposed on me would have been far smaller. I would have been able to continue contributing to services for the people of Lambeth through my chosen career while Lambeth would have saved its ratepayers the expenses it has wasted on defending the indefensible.' Mr D'Souza's appeal was heard by High Court judge Sir Thomas Morison, president of the Employment Appeals Tribunal, and two lay members.

In its judgment, the tribunal said: 'In the experience of this court, this is the worst case of unlawful race discrimination that it has ever had to consider.' The chairman said: 'Mr D'Souza has been the victim of shameful treatment by a local authority. He has been deprived of a job which he enjoyed
doing as a result of a campaign of racial discrimination and vic-timisation against him.

'So far as money can do it, he has been put into the position he would have been in had he remained in Lambeth's employment throughout the rest of his working life.'

October 30, 1997.

BY: Stephen PhilipsLAMBETH
The London Borough of Lambeth is considering an appeal against record race -discrimination damages awarded to a former senior IT manager.

The council was ordered to pay more than (GBP) 358,000 to Donald D'Souza, information systems group manager at the borough from 1986 until his dismissal in 1990.

The judge described it as the "worst case of unlawful discrimination" the court had ever seen.

The Employment Appeals Tribunal award was the result of eight years' of litigation, during which Lambeth's present chief executive, Heather Rabbatts, admitted that the council had "permitted persistent acts of discrimination on grounds of race".

D'Souza returned from lunch one afternoon in September 1989 to find a letter on his desk saying he was suspended pending the termination of his employment.
The council stopped paying his salary immediately.

An industrial tribunal in 1992 found that D'Souza had been subjected to four counts of racial discrimination and victimisation by the council:
a. victimisation after alleging racial discrimination;
b. failure to be shortlisted for an appointment because of his race;
c. "unjustified and unlawful suspension";
d. unfairly and unlawfully dismissed for racial reasons.

Lambeth later failed to comply with the tribunal's order that D'Souza be reinstated, claiming reorganisation of the IT department made this "impracticable".

D'Souza appealed to the tribunal under the Race Relations (Remedies) Act 1994, which lifted the ceiling on awards in racial discrimination cases.

A council spokeswoman said that D'Souza's case had been handled by an external adviser brought in to reorganise Lambeth's IT department.

"That person was not briefed in the council's equal opportunities policy for which we have taken full responsibility," she said.

November 23, 1997 .
HEADLINE: Winning a race suit. India-born employee Don D'Souza wins £358,28 from London council

BY: JON STOCK in London

The jaw-dropper of an award might have stunned even Don D'Souza. The India-born computer operator, who used to work for the Lambeth Council in London, received a cheque for £358,288 (Rs 2.15 crore) last month. He hadn't won the National Lottery, nor had he inherited the money. The payment was compensation for one of the worst cases of racial discrimination in Britain.

The sum was awarded by the Employment Appeals Tribunal. The previous highest award was £100,000 but the tribunal saw enough reason to award D'Souza the hefty compensation. "This is the worst case of unlawful race discrimination that the court has ever had to consider," said Mr Justice Morison, president of the tribunal.

D'Souza, 62, who lives in Surbiton in south-west London, started working for the council in 1986. One of 16 computer operators, he was the only non-white employee. It wasn't long before he complained of racist insults from colleagues; one particular manager had constantly given him unfair reports. When he made an internal complaint, the council, incredibly, started disciplinary

proceedings against him. D'Souza was dismissed four years later, an action the tribunal said was "unfair and unlawful".

To understand the background to this landmark case, it is important to realise just how volatile British politics were in the 1980s and early 1990s. The country was in the grip of Thatcherism but a number of local councils, like Lambeth, Hackney and Liverpool, were controlled by far left, Labour activists. In retrospect, D'Souza couldn't have chosen a worse, or more disorganised council to work for. The Labour party, and particularly its more militant wing, was a far cry from today's efficient New Labour machine and those councils under its control were the subject of national ridicule.

The tribunal's award was the culmination of a marathon, eight-year legal battle by D'Souza. After his initial dismissal in 1990, he took his case to an industrial tribunal claiming unfair dismissal and racial discrimination, and was awarded £16,000 in 1992. The tribunal also ordered the council to reinstate D'Souza. Its failure to do so led to a further tribunal hearing in 1995. The tribunal decided that D'Souza could receive only £8,925 for unfair dismissal.

Many people might have stopped at this point, but D'Souza was not to be so easily beaten. After going on to win a total of five industrial hearings, all of which were limited by law in what they could pay him, he decided to take his case to the Employment Appeals Tribunal, which duly rewarded him for his determination and appalling treatment by the council. Understandably, D'Souza was relieved to have settled the matter, but he criticised the council for wasting taxpayers' money by trying to "defend the indefensible".

Lambeth Council is considering an appeal against the sum awarded. It is no secret that its finances are in a poor shape and it can ill afford such a large sum. The tribunal's calculations were based on loss of pension and earnings, D'Souza was being paid £30,000 as a systems manager, and how much he would have earned if he had continued to work until his retirement at 65.
"The Lottery Jackpot-sized payout to Don D'Souza is staggering," argued an editorial in the London Evening Standard. "No one would dispute D'Souza's right to a workplace free from bigotry, and quite clearly, he had a legitimate grievance. But at the stroke of a pen, his payment has leapt to over £350,000. This is recklessly irresponsible, another example of the crazy compensation culture, driven jointly by the lawyers and the financial services industry, who are dancing a lucrative tango."

In a nice twist to the tale, which might go some way to satisfying those taxpayers who resent the size of D'Souza's compensation, he has decided to repay all the income support payments he received from the government. For the past seven years, D'Souza, who is married, has been unemployed and claiming benefit.


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