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Sacked nurses win sex case payout

Two lesbian nurses have won a record six-figure compensation claim after they were sacked because of their sexuality.

Margaret Durman and Penny Smith were dismissed by Barchester Healthcare for gross misconduct in September 2005 after they were accused of allowing the physical and sexual abuse of residents at a care centre.

They challenged the decision at a tribunal which found there was no evidence against them and they won their case for sexual orientation discrimination.

Barchester Healthcare also lost its appeal against the ruling.

The amount of compensation is not being revealed, but the Royal College of Nursing said it is a record payout for a case it has been involved with.

The couple, from Kelly Bray, Cornwall, said the experience has torn their lives apart and they are unlikely to return to the same work.

The tribunal found that if the original complaint against the pair, who were employed at Kernow House in Launceston, had been investigated properly, "it would have revealed no possible cause for concern".

Barchester Healthcare

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