Friday 17 January 2020

Landlord to pay €15,000 over racist abuse

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Gordon Deegan

A landlord who subjected a Congolese-born tenant to a tirade of foul-mouthed racist abuse has been ordered to pay €15,000 compensation to the man.

In his ruling, Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) adjudication officer Breiffni O'Neill ordered that landlord Martin Fleming pay Wally Nkikita the maximum compensation allowed under the Equal Status Act for harassment on the grounds of race.

Mr O'Neill said the award was appropriate having "witnessed the effects the discriminatory treatment has had on the complainant".

"In addition, I have taken into account the serious and ongoing nature of the abuse and harassment on the race ground," he said.

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Mr O'Neill said on the basis of the evidence from Mr Nkikita and in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, he was satisfied the respondent repeatedly subjected him to hostile and intimidating behaviour and called him offensive names, which constitutes harassment.

As part of his case, Mr Nkikita produced a video recording of an interaction he had with Mr Fleming on January 5 when he approached him to fix an alarm.

In his report, Mr O'Neill said Mr Fleming referred to Mr Nkikita as "a black p***k, a black f***ker, a black c**t".

In evidence before the WRC, Mr Nkikita also claimed Mr Fleming physically assaulted him with a brush on that occasion and that when he made him aware that he was recording the conversation Mr Fleming said that he could "play the recording next to his flute in the Congo next week".

Mr Nkikita said he asked Mr Fleming to fix the toilet on numerous occasions but that when he did so the landlord abused him using racial epithets, threatened to cut his head off and send him "on a slow boat back to the Congo".

Mr Nkikita said Mr Fleming informed him there was nothing wrong with the toilet except for the fact that his wife was "sh***ing and putting too much toilet paper into it".

Mr Nkikita said when he attempted to unblock the toilet himself, faeces came into the shower which meant that they had to bathe using a bucket.

Irish Independent

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