A manager for Highways England pestered a new recruit with sleazy texts and threatened to have her ‘killed and buried’ if she reported him, a damning sexual harassment judgment has revealed.
Roads boss Grant Bosence, 53, bombarded Kim Beaney, 40, with 2 500 Facebook and text messages in just two months, including semi-naked selfies.
He demanded to know what “a dinner was worth in sexual favours” and said he could tell her what “would be nice” for her to wear under her fluorescent work gear, a tribunal heard.
When Miss Beaney threatened to report him to human resources, Bosence reportedly said he could have her “killed and buried for four grand”.
The mother-of-two was awarded £74 000 in compensation after successfully bringing an employment tribunal case against Highways England, Bosence and another worker.
“I saw this job as a chance to begin a new career with good prospects that would allow me to provide for my family,” said Miss Beaney. “Instead I suffered months of harassment.
“I felt I had no option but to continue speaking to him. He told me he was responsible for hiring and firing staff.”
“The amount of messages he sent was ridiculous. But I was in no position to say what I really wanted – which, believe me, would have been blunt and to the point.” Miss Beaney, who applied for a £18,000-a-year role as a Highways Inspection Driver in February 2017, was contacted by Bosence on the same day as her interview.
She endured sexual advances by text and on Facebook over the following two months, despite insisting that she just “wanted a job and not a man”.
In the flurry of messages seen by the tribunal, Bosence called her “hot”, “beautiful” and “sexy”, and sent her “partially clothed” pictures of himself.
When Miss Beaney innocently asked what she should wear underneath her fluorescent workwear, he replied: “Haha, well I could say what would be nice.” Bosence, who is reported to be single, told the tribunal that there was nothing inappropriate about the messages and images he sent Miss Beaney.
But employment judge Elizabeth Heap said Miss Beaney “found messages from him suggesting that they engage in physical activity and his attempts to kiss her upsetting, humiliating and offensive”.
The tribunal ruled that she “played along… as she felt she had no alternative but to do so”.
Miss Beaney, of Sandiacre, Derbyshire, won claims of sexual harassment, direct discrimination and discriminatory dismissal at a Nottingham employment tribunal.
She had started work in April 2017. But Bosence was said to have engineered that she was moved to a different depot where his friend worked as a supervisor to exert further control over her. She quit in August 2017 after Highways England refused to fully uphold her grievance complaints.
Highways England was blasted by the tribunal for failing to take action. Its grievance procedure was condemned as ‘atrociously poor’. It spent more than £80 000 of taxpayers’ cash defending the case, freedom of information documents reveal.
Miss Beaney said: ‘On top of having to deal with the inappropriate and unwanted attention from men who had direct power over my job, I was then horrified by the response of Highways England to my complaints.’
The agency refused to say if disciplinary action had been taken against Bosence but added: ‘The type of behaviour involved in this case is completely unacceptable and does not align with our values.’