AN AUSTRALIAN laundry owner who threatened to dissolve his workers in acid and taunted them about being raped has been fined the equivalent of €40,000.
Kevin Andrews, 61, was convicted by a court in Melbourne of bullying several of his workers physically, psychologically and verbally at his business between 2007 and 2009.
Andrews had repeatedly threatened his staff, warning them he would burn them in acid or set his dogs on them. He also taunted them about a rapist in the area.
On one occasion Andrews asked an employee to bring his dogs to the laundry "and if an employee stuffed up they would be bitten by the dogs – that is, the employee would be locked up with the dogs in a shipping container".
The magistrate, Hugh Radford, who described Andrews' behaviour as "disgusting and appalling" said the effects of the bullying on staff were "harrowing and profound".
Mr Radford also made reference to an incident where Andrews told a woman she "should have been drowned at birth" and called another "porky", a "wog" and a "big fat bush pig".
He warned his employees he would dissolve them in acid, and told them a rapist was "waiting for them".
He also said that all women were "dogs" and were "only good for one thing".
According to www.theage.com.au Andrews also yelled at staff, hit their desk with sticks, or threw items at them.
The magistrate, who noted a fine was the only sentence he could impose for the charge, convicted and fined Andrews $50,000 (€40,000) – the maximum available was $53,715 – with $50,000 costs.
In his remarks he said it was clear the employees had worked hard for Andrews and "in many ways were financially trapped".