Fingerprint expert wins unfair dismissal claim against police

A fingerprint expert who was sacked after making a mistake has won her unfair dismissal claim against the police.

Fiona McBride was one of four specialists who said a fingerprint found at a crime scene was that of an investigating officer who had been told to stay away from the premises. This turned out to be wrong and all four experts were suspended from duty.

They were reinstated following an investigation but weren’t allowed to resume their normal duties.

Following police reorganisation, all four were offered a pay-off to leave the service. Three accepted but Ms McBride refused and was eventually sacked.

The Employment Tribunal found that she had been unfairly dismissed. It awarded her £31,000 compensation and ordered that she should get her job back as a fingerprint officer.

The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which has now ruled in her favour. It also ruled that the case should be sent back to the tribunal so that the level of compensation could be increased.

Ms McBride told the BBC: “From the outset I was not interested in compensation for the loss of my job. I just wanted it back.

“Now, thanks to the support of my solicitors…and the five judges who heard my appeal, this is now possible.”

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