£126,000 for sacked boss

Devastated: Patrick O'Doherty has been awarded a �126,000 payout for unfair dismissal by RBS
Devastated: Patrick O'Doherty has been awarded a �126,000 payout for unfair dismissal by RBS
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Patrick O’Doherty was a successful bank manager, with a loving family and his career ahead of him.

The Walton-le-Dale man ran two branches of Nat West and described himself as “the most happy-go-lucky person you could ever come across”.

But the dad-of-three said his life was “destroyed” when he developed bipolar disorder, which was compounded by a four-year wrangle with his ex- employers.

He has now been told he is to be paid £126,000 after an employment tribunal ruled he had been unfairly dismissed and discriminated against.

But Patrick fears he never will see the cash, as the bank is set to launch another appeal.

Patrick, 41, joined the National Westminster Retail Network in 2009 as branch manager in Hyde and Denton, and later transferred to Accrington and Great Harwood.

In January 2010, he went off sick and was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

While he was away from work, an investigation was launched into allegations which included claims that Patrick had accessed accounts of friends and family without permission, and he was later dismissed following a disciplinary hearing with him.

But a tribunal found that the decision to dismiss him was “prejudiced”, and was made before any meeting was held with him.

A later tribunal judgement this year also confirmed that Patrick “did not by his conduct contribute to his dismissal” and “did not commit the serious acts of misconduct of which he was accused”.

Following the tribunal in 2012, a judgement from Employment Judge Singleton ruled that his dismissal was unfair.

He also said RBS was under a duty to make reasonable adjustments for Patrick but failed to do so during the disciplinary process and “by virtue of this, they discriminated against the claimant”.

Patrick said: “I’ve never been off ill in my life, but in January 2010 I woke up one morning crying my eyes out, and I was diagnosed about a year later with bipolar.”

Patrick said the ordeal over his employment had a huge impact on him. He said: “They have destroyed my life and they have destroyed my family.

“Now it’s four years down the line, I’ve finally got a judgement and an amount, but now they are appealing it again. I don’t know where to turn any more.”

Patrick no longer takes medication and has started helping in St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary School in Penwortham, but said he hit rock bottom last year.

He said: “It got to the point where I didn’t believe anything that anybody was saying. I started getting very paranoid and thinking everything was a conspiracy.

“To the point that in May last year I attempted to take my own life. I couldn’t take any more, the voices in my head and everything that was going on was just soul destroying.”

He said he didn’t blame the bank for his illness, but added: “What they did has compounded everything – they basically destroyed my life.”

Patrick and his wife Lisa split up in 2009 as a result of the illness. He said: “We are back together now but it’s destroyed everything we’ve got.

“It’s destroyed my marriage, it’s destroyed what I’ve got with my kids – I’ve still got that relationship but the way they’ve seen me within the last few years, I was scared to speak to people.”

He added:“(The Royal Bank of Scotland) didn’t cause it, but it prolonged it and it took me to the brink.

“All I want out of this now is for it to be over.”

A spokesman for RBS said: “There is still an ongoing legal process in relation to this matter and it wouldn’t be appropriate for the bank to comment further at this stage, pending the outcome of that process.”