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Alcoholic nurse was fairly sacked.

A NURSE at Ashworth High Security Hospital was allowed to carry on working after he confessed to being an alcoholic, an employment tribunal heard.

Mark Jones, 40, had been a staff nurse at the hospital for 15 years before he developed his addiction.

The hearing heard managers became aware of his drinking in 1996 but he continued in his job at the hospital in Maghull.

A hospital manager said it had been frequently noted Mr Jones was the worse for drink while on duty, but no formal warning was ever issued.

But on June 19, 2001 a ward manager sent Mr Jones home because of his condition, and on June 25 he was suspended by ward manager Sue Boocock who said she had never seen him in such a bad state.

On June 28, 2001 Mr Jones was sacked for gross misconduct. The Liverpool tribunal heard his claim for unfair dismissal.

Mr Jones said: ``I never attended work under the influence. After I asked for help I was placed on the alcohol policy and I improved greatly.

``To help with beating the cravings for alcohol my doctor prescribed me Librium and I also took anti-depressants and sleeping tablets. But my condition deteriorated after a patient and a group of his friends assaulted me in my home'' After that, his drinking got worse.

But tribunal chairman Derek Reed said the hospital had done its best to help Mr Jones.

He said: ``It would be inappropriate to punish a charitable employer who tried to help an employee. I will therefore rule the dismissal was fair.''
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 3, 2002
Words:263
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