Football club worker 'burst into dressing room 15 times as players showered'
An office worker claiming sexual discrimination and harassment at a lower league football club sent pictures of herself scantily clad to a player, a tribunal is told
An office worker at a lower league football club sent pictures of herself scantily clad to a player and repeatedly burst in to the dressing room while the team were showering, a tribunal was told on Tuesday.
Kerry Miller, 46, asked the player to delete the photographs from his mobile telephone as she feared for her job, but he showed them around instead.
She is accused of barging into the dressing room on at least 15 occasions, causing two of the team to complain to the manager.
Ms Miller, a widow, worked in sales and support for Burton Albion FC, a League Two team, at the Pirelli Stadium in Burton-upon-Trent for two years before leaving last year.
She is claiming constructive dismissal, sexual discrimination and harassment.
The club denies her claims and says that she took on extra jobs to have direct contact with the players, including serving them food. Ben Robinson, the chairman, asked her to stop serving meals, and to “concentrate on your job”, Leicester employment tribunal was told.
Ms Miller admitted sending “private” pictures of herself to Billy Kee, 23, a striker, and having had a “casual” relationship with Ryan Austin, 29, a defender who has since left the club and plays for Brackley Town in Northamptonshire.
She told the panel: “The Billy Kee incident was an isolated mistake and I held my hands up and said I made a mistake. I asked him to delete the photos and he said he would but instead showed them to other players.
“He is not the brightest boy in the world and I wanted him to do what I asked. I didn’t want people knowing he had photos of me. I told him it could cost me my job.” Ms Miller, who lives in a £400,000 house in Marchington, near Uttoxeter, said that she had entered the changing room on four occasions only, and had knocked and shouted each time.
She left the club last February after a row with Mr Robinson. She said that she had volunteered to cook when she was told the club chef was unable to work, but she had to leave the kitchen at noon to take an NVQ maths exam elsewhere in the stadium.
“I went back to the kitchen to get some water but as I got the water Mr Robinson came in and shouted at me saying I shouldn’t be there,” Miss Miller said.
“I was upset and humiliated at how he spoke to me which is why I later left.”
The chairman told the hearing that images of Ms Miller in her underwear had been passed around and that he was made aware of them after two other players complained about her visiting the dressing room.
“The complaint was about Kerry’s conduct with regards to the number of times she was coming into the players’ dressing room while they were taking showers and partially dressed,” he said.
The players saw Ms Miller so frequently they would joke about her turning up as they came out of the showers, he added.
“I was aware that Kerry was exchanging texts and emails and pictures with Billy Kee, but I wasn’t aware that she was scantily dressed,” Mr Robinson said.
“I wasn’t aware of the explicit nature of the messages and despite knowing that Billy Kee was sending pictures I was not aware he was showing pictures of Kerry around.”
Mr Robinson denied accusations made by Ms Miller that he had called her “attractive” and asked if she was “seeking a husband” during her job interview.
He said that he gave her the job following her mother’s recommendation and knowing that she was going through a difficult time since the death of her husband in April 2010.
He added: “I categorically deny I made any reference to Kerry seeking a husband at Burton Albion.”
The tribunal continues.