Manager sacked after explicit snaps found on work computer wins £15k
Manager who was sacked after explicit snaps of him and wife were discovered on his work computer wins £15,000 damages after boss threatened to use the photos to ‘make her famous’
- Ricardo Da Silva was found to have ‘graphic’ images after IT searched his inbox
- He was fired in June 2020 for a ‘potential breach’ of BW Broadcast’s IT policy
- The former manager claimed he was victim of a ‘witch hunt’ in a work dispute
- A tribunal found that Mr Da Silva’s boss told IT to deliberately target him
A manager who was fired after his wife sent ‘graphic and offensive’ images to his work email address won £15,000 after he claimed he was the victim of a ‘witch hunt’ led by his boss.
Ricardo Da Silva worked as a production and manufacturing manager for BW Broadcast until he was sacked in June 2020 after the pictures were discovered during a search of his inbox.
He was told a company-wide IT security check had been undertaken and was shown two explicit images which had been sent to his work email address by his wife in 2017 and then forwarded on to his personal email address in 2019 during work time.
But an employment tribunal has now ruled that Mr Da Silva was unfairly dismissed and has awarded him £15,172.38.
When a dispute arose between the company’s two directors Roger Howe and Scott Incz in 2017, Mr Incz believed Mr Da Silva took his rival’s side.
Mr Da Silva claimed he had been ‘set up’ and the victim of a ‘witch hunt’ by his boss, after Mr Incz told IT to deliberately target him.
Mr Da Silva claimed that as part of the row Mr Incz used the images to threaten him by text.
Ricardo Da Silva worked as a production and manufacturing manager for BW Broadcast (office in Croydon pictured) until he was sacked in June 2020 after the pictures were discovered during a search of his inbox
The panel was shown several messages as evidence, with Mr Incz writing to Mr Da Silva: ‘My opinion is you f****d it up… you decided Roger was a better option for you.
‘You tried to steal my shares and you can f*** off. I have every email you sent. You are f****d!
‘You are not my boss, you and your wife are going to be lit up in lights. She will be famous!’
The former manager worked for the Croydon-based broadcasting equipment since October 2006.
The tribunal heard Mr Howe passed away in March 2020 following a fall from the second floor of a building.
The following month Mr Incz texted Mr Da Silva saying his wife should stop spreading rumours about the death of Mr Howe, adding ‘MI5 have been informed’.
Mr Da Silva was sacked in June 2020 for accessing and forwarding inappropriate images and ‘failing to devote his whole time and attention to his duties’ by doing this during work hours.
But the tribunal concluded that Mr Da Silva had not committed gross misconduct.
Employment Judge Omar Khalil ruled: ‘This was a one-off incident with no wider circulation or actual risk of harm to another employee, a supplier or client.
‘It was thus a contained incident. The photos were of Mr Da Silva and his wife only.
‘The Tribunal concluded that BW Broadcast had not proved he was in material breach of contract entitling it to summarily terminate without notice.’
The judge also believed the initial investigation made the whole process unfair, adding: ‘There was no investigation of whether or which other employees had been subjected to an IT check even on an anonymised basis.
‘The Tribunal were left with an overwhelming impression that (Mr Da Silva) was targeted.’
Mr Da Silva won claims of unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal but lost a claim of marriage discrimination.
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