A former South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) ambulance employee has lost her unfair dismissal claim after she was caught ‘having sex’ with a colleague in the back of an ambulance.
A tribunal heard how, on 27th December 2018, Emma Corydon, a former ambulance care assistant, is reported to have driven her private car into the car park at Portsmouth FC’s Fratton Park and got into the back of an ambulance where a male colleague was waiting.
Private security guards approached the ambulance and knocked on the door. It was answered by the male who was in a ‘state of undress’. After speaking to the security staff, the male went back inside the PTS ambulance and the security staff drove away.
A witness monitoring CCTV cameras said that the ambulance could be seen ‘rocking from side-to-side quite significantly’.
Following the incident, the security officers sent an email to their line manager who then reported the encounter to SCAS.
The witness said:
“I recall that on viewing the CCTV, you could clearly see the ambulance vehicle drive into the football ground. At the far side, you could see the blood bank was taking place on that day. The ambulance vehicle drove into the centre of the car park, then turned around and parked up.
“This was followed by what was later identified as Emma’s car which parked up next to the ambulance. I recall seeing the male member of staff at the side of the ambulance door. Emma got out of her car and into the back of the ambulance.
“I could then see a vehicle driven by the football security approach the ambulance and a member of security staff got out and knocked on the ambulance to speak to the occupants. I could see the male member of staff speaking to the security officer and his shirt appeared untucked and his belt undone.
“The security officer returned to her vehicle.
“Due to it being dark and the position of the camera, I could not clearly see what was happening inside the ambulance as the lights were off.
“However, I clearly recall seeing the ambulance rocking from side-to-side quite significantly after the security officer left. The security officer then returned in front of the ambulance and put her car headlights on full beam so it was shining onto the front of the ambulance.
“I understand she did that she did this in order to take down the registration number. I could then clearly see that the male member of staff had his shirt untucked, shoes off and what looked like doing up his belt.
“A short while later, I could see Emma leave the ambulance vehicle and drive out of the car park.”
Both Croydon and her male colleague were dismissed by the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation in April 2019 for gross misconduct.
According to the tribunal, Croydon was three months into sick leave when the alleged incident occurred in 2018.
During the hearing, Croydon denied the allegations and claimed her colleague ‘was simply comforting’ her as she had been depressed and was feeling upset.
She said the pair had chatted but could not explain why she had joined him in the back of an ambulance with the lights off.
She denied the pair had an intimate relationship and said the ambulance service’s disciplinary procedure had been ‘dishonest’ and ‘flawed’.
After being sacked, Croydon brought a claim of unfair dismissal against SCAS, but the tribunal upheld her dismissal.
The verdict read:
“The tribunal has concluded that at the relevant time the trust had a genuine belief Miss Croydon had been guilty of gross misconduct [for] inappropriate use of trust property; conduct likely to give an offence to patients, other employees, visitors or the general public; and conduct that had potential to impact on the reputation of the trust.”
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