A COLLEGE lecturer who took his employer to a tribunal after he was dismissed for racial harassment has said his life has been 'destroyed'.

Doug Parker, who worked as a tutor at Blackburn College for 27 years, was dismissed for gross misconduct in 2016 after he told a fasting colleague Usman Hussain he should hide a sandwich box under his beard.

An internal misconduct hearing found he had racially harassed one colleague and intimated another after he also offended Anser Yousef when he made reference to his friend's skin colour remarking on his tan line.

Mr Parker, 56, lost his case at an employment tribunal after claiming the college had made disciplinary procedural errors and failed to deal properly with his suspension.

Mr Parker, who worked in the motor vehicle department, has received full backing from the Lancashire Association of Trade Union Councils who rejected the decision of the employment tribunal and called his dismissal a 'travesty of justice'.

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The father-of-two said, he spent £1,250 fighting the case and has no plans to appeal again.

He said: "You have to realise when you go to a tribunal you do not go for justice, it is about whether the procedures were followed. I do not want to spend time and money to get the same decision.

"I will not ever go back to teaching. It has destroyed all faith I have had in it. It was a passion of mine and if you look at the reaction I have had from ex-students I was reasonably good at it. That passion has been extinguished. I would rather work pushing shopping trolleys.

"From a personal point of view it has destroyed my life. I'm taking medication and have been having counselling.

"It has been absolutely horrendous for me and my family."

He said the comment made about the sandwich box was in response to a comment Usmain Hussain made, it was banter between colleagues and was made in the staff room while he had meant no offence by the tan line comment and was referencing a childhood experience.

Peter Billington, secretary at Lancashire Association of Trades Union Councils, said: "The allegations of racial harassment and intimidation were absolutely baseless.

"In the time he worked there there was a reorganisation of roles and a number of staff felt they might be left without enough hours. A small group of people took the opportunity to defend the position of employment by making these allegations against Mr Parker."

"We just want to make sure people are aware that there are two sides and the employment tribunal decision is not something accepted by the Trade Union movement."