Caretaker Sacked After Accidentally Giving Away Royal Artefact Worth 5 Million Pounds

After getting fired, Brian Wilson took his employer, Seighford Hall Nursing Home Ltd, to a tribunal for unfair dismissal.

Caretaker Sacked After Accidentally Giving Away Royal Artefact Worth 5 Million Pounds

The employment tribunal awarded Wilson 4,065.82 pounds.

A caretaker watching over a stately home in the United Kingdom was sacked after he gave away a royal artefact worth £5million thinking it was rotten and destined for a bonfire. 

According to BBC, Brian Wilson, who was fired from his position at the Grade II listed Seighford Hall in Staffordshire, had allowed an antique dealer to walk off with the 460-year-old decorative piece bearing the royal coat of arms of Queen Elizabeth I. Mr Wilson thought that the oak overmantel was riddled with woodworm and dry rot, and he even tossed it on a pile of firewood, before giving it to the antique dealer Andrew Potter who later tried to sell it. 

Mr Potter planned to turn the carving into a headboard but was alerted to its potential value and put it up for auction last year. Stafford borough council then went to court to stop Whitworth Auctions from selling the piece. The local authority reportedly said that there had been no Listed Building Consent granted for the removal of the panel, which is considered one of the hall's integral fixtures and fittings. 

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Mr Wilson was then called to an investigation by his employers relating to the handing over of the overmantel without authorisation, also the sale of two fireplaces and a tractor. But he did not attend the meeting or any subsequent disciplinary meetings leading to his sacking in 2020. He was found to have committed gross misconduct. 

However, after getting fired, Mr Wilson took his employer, Seighford Hall Nursing Home Ltd, to a tribunal for unfair dismissal.

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Employment Judge Kate Hindmarch ruled the sacking had been "procedurally unfair," however, she added that the claimant had admitted removing the carving without consent claiming it to be "in very poor repair,” BBC reported. Judge Hindmarch awarded Mr Wilson £4,065.82 in an unlawful deduction from wages and untaken holiday pay. But she also ruled he was not entitled to any additional compensation for his sacking.

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