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SACKED HOMES STAFF 'HARASSED MANAGERS' Three in court to deny charges over LMH bosses.

Byline: MARC WADDINGTON

THREE sacked employees of Liverpool's biggest housing association appeared in court accused of harassment, assault and battery of their former senior managers.

Supporters from union, Unite, demonstrated outside the city's magistrates court in Dale Street as Sid Graves, Peter Orr and David Gardiner pleaded not guilty to the allegations.

The charges were brought after complaints from executives at Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH) and its maintenance contractor Housing Maintenance Solutions (HMS).

All three men had worked for HMS before being sacked last August. They and Unite chiefs claimed they had been targeted because of their union activities.

Join the Facebook page book.com/ At the brief hearing, magistrates heard the charges related to alleged harassment of LMH chief executive Steve Coffey, HMS managers Steve Jenks and Wayne Booth, and the assault and battery of LMH human resources boss Karen McMurdo.

It is alleged that on March 28 this year, Peter Orr, 57, of O'Reilly Court, Vauxhall, had intended to "cause Mr Jenks harassment and distress using threatening and abusive words or insulting and disorderly behaviour".

The same allegation was made in relation to Ms McMurdo on February 17. It was also alleged he harassed Mr Coffey between April 9 - 21.

Graves, 54, of Beacon Lane, Kirkdale, who had been the Joint Trade Union Committee (JTUC) representative of the repairs and maintenance staff until being dismissed last year, appeared to answer charges of "assaulting Ms McMurdo by beating her" on January 30 this year.

conversation on our www.face theliverpoolecho He was also charged in relation to harassment of the LMH HR chief, and of harassing Mr Coffey between February 16 - 23.

Gardiner, 42, of Eldersfield Road, Norris Green, was charged with the common assault of Ms McMurdo and the harassment of HMS manager Mr Booth, as well as harassment of Mr Coffey between February 16 and March 27.

A plea and case management hearing was scheduled for August 23. The men were bailed on the condition they did not approach or make contact with any HMS staff. In Graves's case, the condition applied to all staff except his son and daughter who also work for the company.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 8, 2012
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