A JOINER who was sacked while attending a diabetes appointment has won an equality claim against his former bosses.

Self-employer contractor Barry Killeen insists he told his foreman he was leaving early, from a house refurbishment project in Bolton, as his blood sugar had dropped to "dangerously low" levels and required treatment.

But a Manchester employment tribunal heard when Mr Killeen's manager, Paul Maher, arrived the next day, and found he was absent, he rang Mr Killeen, who was by then at an appointment at Bolton Diabetic Clinic, and dismissed him.

Mr Maher, who worked for P J Services (Bolton) Ltd told the hearing he had gone to the building site, in Pimlott Road, to terminate the joiner's employment over his timekeeping and attendance, and because there had been a downturn in work.

In a statement, the manager said Mr Killeen "regularly came in late and left early".

Ruling in Mr Killeen's favour on an equality claim though, Employment Judge Katherine Ross said Mr Maher's real motivation appeared to be his frustration when he turned up at the site and Mr Kileen, who had worked for him for more than two years, was not there.

Judge Ross added: "We find that Mr Maher did not immediately believe the claimant. In his statement he said 'this was the first I had heard of it and it was only after the call that I was able to verify that he had left early to attend the appointment'."

The judge, who sat on the case with two lay members, said it was "implausible" that Mr Maher needed to terminate Mr Killeen's position on the phone immediately when it was apparent he still had relevant work to complete.

The tribunal also heard that while it was suggested there had been a general downturn in work, no evidence had been produced regarding lost contracts.

Mr Killeen had also claimed that the company had failed to make reasonable adjustments on site for his depression, while on building sites, and he had been harassed because of his disabilities.

However the judge ruled that these allegations were not well-founded and they were dismissed after evidence was heard over the course of three days last December.

Mr Killeen's case was adjourned until April 29 for a remedy hearing to take place in Manchester.