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A care home worker was sacked after she defaced pictures of her female bosses by drawing facial hair on them, an employment tribunal heard.

Naomi Bodis vandalised publicly displayed photographs of manager Paula Craen and deputy manager Susan Jones after complaining about the quality of Christmas gift bags given to staff at Compton House care home in West Sussex.

The Hungarian wrote a note complaining that the gifts were ‘cheap’ and were from Aldi, not Marks & Spencer, and poured a reed oil diffuser over Mrs Craen’s office, the tribunal was told.

Ms Bodis was caught after an investigation was carried out and a trustee compared the handwriting of members of staff to see who was responsible.

She then made a series of unfounded allegations against her bosses and colleagues, including that they had racially discriminated against her and called her ‘mad’.

An employment tribunal dismissed the majority of her claims, including unfair dismissal, disability discrimination, race discrimination and wrongful dismissal.

Paula Crean and Susan Jones (pictured together, above) had their photographs defaced and office at Compton House Christian care home in West Sussex vandalised by former employee Naomi Bodis

Paula Crean and Susan Jones (pictured together, above) had their photographs defaced and office at Compton House Christian care home in West Sussex vandalised by former employee Naomi Bodis

Paula Crean and Susan Jones (pictured together, above) had their photographs defaced and office at Compton House Christian care home in West Sussex vandalised by former employee Naomi Bodis

Ms Bodis worked at Compton House in Lindfield, West Sussex (pictured above) as a domestic assistant and activities coordinator

Ms Bodis worked at Compton House in Lindfield, West Sussex (pictured above) as a domestic assistant and activities coordinator

Ms Bodis worked at Compton House in Lindfield, West Sussex (pictured above) as a domestic assistant and activities coordinator

Ms Bodis worked at Compton House in Lindfield, West Sussex, as a domestic assistant and activities coordinator.

The tribunal heard that from October 2018, a number of unusual incidents started to occur at the care home such as paper towels being struck down the staff lavatory, displays being damaged and information being removed.

In December 2018 it was bought to Mrs Craen’s attention that the CQC reports kept in the quiet room had been soaked in water. Twice they were reprinted and twice the same thing happened.

On Christmas Day, when Ms Craen went into her office, she was met by a ‘very pungent smell’ after the contents of a reed diffuser oil had been spilt on her desk, keyboard, laptop and radiator.

The tribunal heard the smell was so unbearable the computer keyboard and radiator had to be replaced.

Later that month a poster addressed to staff was vandalised.

It originally read: ‘Happy Christmas to all staff. Please make sure you collect your Christmas gift bags’ but the poster now read ‘Happy Christmas to all staff from Aldi before from M&S now change Aldi after Please make sure you collect your Christmas gift bags’.

An arrow was pointed to the name of Mrs Craen on the poster also and was believed to be criticism of the quality of the Christmas bags given to staff.

In January 2019 it came to light that photos of Mrs Craen and Mrs Jones had been defaced by drawing facial hair on the images. 

The tribunal heard this ‘upset’ them and the photos were replaced, but were defaced again.

The Hungarian wrote a note complaining that the gifts were 'cheap' and were from Aldi, not Marks & Spencer, and poured a reed oil diffuser over Paula Craen's (pictured) office, the tribunal was told

The Hungarian wrote a note complaining that the gifts were 'cheap' and were from Aldi, not Marks & Spencer, and poured a reed oil diffuser over Paula Craen's (pictured) office, the tribunal was told

The Hungarian wrote a note complaining that the gifts were ‘cheap’ and were from Aldi, not Marks & Spencer, and poured a reed oil diffuser over Paula Craen’s (pictured) office, the tribunal was told

In February 2019, a note was written on a paper towel ‘you can use this luxuries in your own home’ accompanied by a reed diffuser which was found outside Mrs Craen’s office in a plastic carrier bag.

An investigation by the care home found Ms Bodin was ‘the common denominator’ in that she was on duty for all incidents.

Staff were then interviewed, when it was discovered Ms Bodin’s photograph had also been defaced with a picture of a cat.

However, bosses ruled this was most likely also done by Ms Bodin to draw attention away from herself.

Samples of her handwriting also matched the notes accompanying the Christmas poster and reed diffuser.

When Ms Bodin was interviewed she alleged she overheard colleagues saying she was ‘mad’ and ‘mentally ill’.

She also claimed she heard Mrs Craen say ‘now she is married, why is she not going back in to her country Hungary and find a job there? Many foreigners coming here and make trouble’ – but the care home and the tribunal dismissed her allegations as untrue.

Ms Bodin was suspended in March and was then sacked after it was ruled Ms Bodin’s behaviour was ‘inappropriate, the manager and deputy manager were very upset by the incidents and the employment relationship had totally broken down’.

Employment Judge Tim Smith said: ‘The registered manager, who obtained an outstanding grade from CQC, was so affected that she was considering resigning… other staff were affected by the atmosphere caused by the allegations such that it was said they were walking ‘on egg shells’.

‘On the balance of probabilities [Ms Bodin] defaced her own photograph. It was therefore likely that she defaced the other two photographs. Her actions appeared to be a deliberate attempt to draw attention away from [her], which pointed towards guilt.

‘No unusual or unexpected incidents occurred after [she] was suspended.’

Ms Bodin’s claims of unfair and wrongful dismissal, as well as claims of racial and disability discrimination, were thrown out.

Her claims of failing to make reasonable adjustments were mostly dismissed, but she did win one element that she should have been made aware of the allegations against her in writing prior to the investigation.

Compensation owed to her for this, if any, will be decided at a future hearing.

Source: Daily Mail UK

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