The forensic scientist, 46, wins the case after her boss asked if she didn’t like him because she is gay
Forensic scientist, 46, who has worked on the Croydon Cat killer investigation, wins sex discrimination case after her boss asked if she didn’t like him because she’s gay
- Jo Millington says she was left “upset and ashamed” by Joe Arend’s comment
- He asked if she didn’t like him because she was gay and he ‘used to play rugby’
- She has now won her claim about sexual discrimination and owes damages
- Ms. Millington is a leading forensic scientist and has worked with the police
A forensic scientist who has worked on the investigation into the Croydon Cat murder has won a case of sexual discrimination after her boss asked if she didn’t like him because she was gay.
Jo Millington – once part of the Met Police murder team and a star of a recent BBC documentary – was ‘upset and ashamed’ when Joe Arend confronted her and brought up her sexuality, a labor court in Reading, Berkshire heard.
Ms. Millington, 46, who was a senior forensic expert for a private company at the time, had told him she was afraid she was not spending enough time with her wife.
The tribunal heard Mr Arend respond by asking if she had a problem with him ‘because of her sexuality’, pointing out that he was ‘big’ and ‘played rugby before’.
Jo Millington (right), once part of the Met Police murder team and a star of a recent BBC documentary, was ‘upset and ashamed’ when Joe Arend confronted her and brought up her sexuality.
Ms. Millington – a leading expert in her field who lectures at a number of leading universities – has now won her claim of gender discrimination against the company.
The expert – who appeared in BBC’s 2018 true crime documentary, ‘Conviction: Murder in Suburbia’, which investigated Glyn Razzell’s conviction for the death of his wife Linda in 2002 – is now entitled to damages.
The tribunal heard that Ms. Millington – a blood pattern specialist who has worked for police forces across Britain for the past 25 years – began working for ArroGen Forensics in Oxfordshire in 2012 as a Lead Forensic Scientist.
The 46-year-old’s work consisted mainly of reviewing forensic evidence in criminal matters and appearing as an expert witness in court.
In 2017, at the suggestion of her and another scientist, the company launched a new venture in collaboration with the University of Surrey, specializing in veterinary forensics.
Ms. Millington was appointed scientific director and one of her first duties was to assess the case of the so-called ‘Croydon Cat Killer’, suspected of killing up to 250 cats.
However, a few months after the launch, Mr. Arend, CEO, began to be unhappy about how the new company was doing and began to question Ms. Millington’s performance.
In one conversation, the tribunal heard that he described her salary and expenses as ‘mad’ and ‘crackers’.
Ms. Millington appeared in BBC’s 2018 true crime documentary ‘Conviction: Murder in Suburbia’ and investigated Glyn Razzell’s conviction for the death of his wife Linda in 2002
Then, after complaining about his behavior, the CEO questioned her sexuality at a meeting in December of that year – described by a witness as “bad-tempered” and “out of control.”
The panel’s verdict reads: “At one point in the meeting, Ms Millington discussed her work-life balance. She said she didn’t have enough time to spend with her family and her wife.
Moments later, Mr. Arend brought up the subject of the plaintiff’s sexual orientation. He asked her if she thought he had a problem with her because of her sexuality.
He was referring to the fact that he is big and used to be a rugby player. (She) found the question about her sexual orientation unsettling and unprofessional.
“She noted that she didn’t see the relevance of his question and moved the discussion to something else.”
The tribunal noted that Mr. Arend admitted on cross-examination that he would not have asked about sexual orientation had a female employee noted that he did not have enough time to spend with “my family and husband”.
Ms. Millington was “very upset” by the meeting and resigned shortly afterwards, the tribunal heard.
The panel found the company liable for discrimination based on sexual orientation, constructive termination and breach of contract.
The conclusion was: “Mr Arend’s question to the plaintiff whether she thought Mr Arend had a problem with her sexual orientation was followed by a remark about stereotypes when Mr Arend referred to himself as a former rugby player.
“The question introduced (Ms Millington )’s sexual orientation into the discussion for no reason at all, and … it implied that the plaintiff’s sexual orientation could be a factor in her decision to file a formal complaint to submit about Mr. Arend.
Miss Millington considered her sexual orientation to be a private affair (as she had a right to do), and the question about this was disturbing and embarrassing. She would have preferred not to have been asked.
“Her reputation and credibility support her career.”