GATESHEAD CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU
Washington Citizens advice did not have the resources to represent anyone at an Employment Tribunal.
At that time, I was being told by an Employment Tribunal Chairman that, because of my head injury and medical records, I needed legal representation for a fair tribunal to take place.
Because of this, I looked for legal help.
I had a meeting with a Mr Swinburne of Swinburne & Jackson solicitors. During that meeting I was told by Mr Swinburne that it would cost me about £5,000 for him just to look through my bundle that I had prepared for the tribunal. He made it clear that there would be no guarantee that he would represent me.
After saying that, he then went on to say how someone owes him a favour and he would get in touch. He spoke to someone over the phone whilst I was there, then handed me a piece of paper with details of who I would meet.
I went to Gateshead Citizens Advice Bureau for the first time on the 17th July 2003 and met with Wilf Holt. This was the person who according to Mr Swinburne, owed him a favour!
I explained to Mr Holt how the Employment Tribunal was scheduled for 1-3 September and I had to have legal representation.
The form I signed, Mr Holt stated “he would represent you at the ET”. So I thought I now had legal representation to help me with my Employment Tribunal against Dunlop Tyres.
I explained the present day situation, how I was waiting for vital evidence to be handed to me which proved I had been given phone calls from the GMB Union Shop Steward that he denies. And how if I didn’t receive the vital evidence, I could apply to strike Dunlop Tyres out of the Employment Tribunal, which would have meant I had won my claim.
I never received the vital evidence, so I applied to strike Dunlop Tyres out. A hearing was called for 12th August 2003 for me to do that.
I met Wilf Holt on that day who promised to represent me. I gave him instructions on what to do. That was if no evidence had been submitted, then strike Dunlop out. He agreed to do that.
But during the hearing, Mr Holt did the opposite. He stated how, after discussing things with me, we have decided to withdraw the evidence because it was not relevant to my claim.
That is totally untrue.
I stood up and raised this point with the Chairman on how my representative was stating the opposite to what I instructed him to say. The Chairman replied by telling me that I was not allowed to speak.
Mr Holt said the same thing again. Again, I stood up and made it clear to the Chairman that I would not accept what was being said. I made it clear that this was vital evidence that I need.
This time the Chairman told me to sit down and be quiet or else I would be the one who is struck out. I had no option but to sit down, say nothing whilst my own representative told lies and misrepresented me.
The Chairman knew this was happening and continued with the hearing.
After the hearing, Mr Holt went into a room with Dunlop’s solicitors. I was not allowed to enter the room. Everything they said was kept private. No reason has ever been given for this.
When we left the Employment Tribunal building, Mr Holt informed me that I am definitely finished from Dunlop and it would be best all round if I just give up with this claim. I made it clear that I wouldn’t. I remember having a big argument with Mr Holt and we parted company on bad terms.
Nothing seemed right!
On Friday the 15th August I had another meeting with Mr Holt of Gateshead Citizens Advice Bureau. This meeting lasted about 3 hours.
It started by him telling me how I am finished from work and trying to convince me to just accept it.
I remember being very emotional on that day thinking my life was finished.
But it turned into another argument where I made it clear that I would never back down, how I have done nothing wrong and have all medical proof that Dunlop had.
Details of that conversation are not in Mr Holt’s notes. But he did phone Wragge & Co solicitors (Dunlop Tyres solicitors) and told them what I had said. So evidence on what was said in that day does exist. But I was not allowed to submit that evidence into court!
After telling the Wragge & Co solicitor what I had said to him, he went on to say how he personally thought that I would agree to leave work.
The fact is, I would never have thought that way or just agreed to leave work!
Because Mr Holt said that, then Wragge & Co solicitors rang ACAS and told the conciliator how my representative thought an agreement could be reached, even though she knew that I had made it clear to Mr Holt that I would not agree to leave work.
ACAS conciliator replied by saying that he would not be at work on Monday 15th August, but would sign anything off on the basis that he had been involved all along.
Monday 18th August 2003 is when a COT3 agreement became legally binding upon me without my knowledge or consent.
Mr Wilf Holt of Gateshead Citizens Advice Bureau, who promised to represent me at an Employment Tribunal, signed it on my behalf without my knowledge.
That is not all. It was not an ACAS document that Mr Holt signed. It was nothing but a lie of a statement written by Wragge & Co solicitors that he signed (false instrument).
So Mr Wilf Holt, who I learned was an “experienced union negotiator” (now I know why he got rid of vital evidence that proved I had been treated unlawfully by GMB Union Shop Steward) purposely signed a fraudulent document/false instrument, because by law, as stated by Lady Justice Smith who judged in my favour, “for the settlement to be binding, it had to be recorded on form COT3, completed by an ACAS officer.
So the question still is to this day, why did a false instrument become legally binding?
Legal action followed, which will be added in the H M Courts and Tribunals report.