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Prison officer takes Ministry of Justice to employment tribunal over ‘sickness’ sacking

A former prison officer who was sacked after suffering post traumatic stress is taking her former employers to an employment tribunal.

Antoinette Muir, 45, from Sutton, was due to hear her case for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination at a tribunal in Croydon last month, but the case was adjourned until later this year.

Mrs Muir says she simply wants her job at HMP Downview back, which she had between 2004 and 2012, and feels “very let down” by the prison service after it sacked her in June on the grounds of “medical inefficiency”.

After witnessing several suicide attempts within the prison, in some instances having to cut ligature from inmates, Mrs Muir, had to take three months off work, but returned for a few hours a week to aid her recovery.

In a statement given to the tribunal service, she said: “I suffered from anxiety and depression which required me to take significant periods of time off work.

“Although it was initially thought that I was suffering from depression and panic attacks, It was later confirmed that I was in fact suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

“I assert that this condition amounts to a disability under the Equality Act 2010.”

Mrs Muir, whose daughter also works within the prison, claims to have had no after care from the prison following the events.

She added: “I was extremely upset by my dismissal. I am the chief breadwinner in my home and was upset at the thought, and then the reality, of the added pressure that losing my job would place upon my family.

“I felt that I had given my all to the prison and had very much enjoyed working there, despite the incidents I had witnessed.”

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “It would be inappropriate to comment while proceedings are ongoing.”