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Welshman, 61, sues former employer for racism after claiming colleagues referred to 'sheep sh***ing'

A Welshman is suing his former employer for racism after claiming his colleagues made repeated references to ‘sheep sh***ing’ and told him his native language sounded ‘like someone spewing in a bucket’.

James Bracegirdle, 61, alleged workmates named an office mannequin used to display personal protective equipment ‘baa-bera’ and asked him whether he had received wellington boots for Christmas. 

The health and safety expert believes the boots were a reference to ‘sheep sh***ing’, and said they implied Welshmen would put the animal’s hind legs between their boots in order to have s** with them. 

The married father-of-one worked as a Network Rail HSEQ adviser at Quinn Infrastructure Services Ltd, based in London, for two years before quitting in July 2019. He is from the coastal town of Llandudno, north Wales.

James Bracegirdle has accused his former employer, London-based Quinn Infrastructure Services Ltd, of racism. He claims the office had a personal protective equipment mannequin that they named 'baa-bera' and said his native language 'sounded like someone spewing'

James Bracegirdle has accused his former employer, London-based Quinn Infrastructure Services Ltd, of racism. He claims the office had a personal protective equipment mannequin that they named ‘baa-bera’ and said his native language ‘sounded like someone spewing’

In a preliminary hearing held in London, Mr Bracegirdle claimed he was subjected to ‘staple insults heard more on a building site than in an office environment’ that became ‘increasingly hostile racist banter’.

Phrases flung at the employee included ‘Taffy bastard’, ‘Welsh c***’ and references to sheep sh***ing, he claimed.

The abuse got worse after his sister’s ‘sudden death’ in April 2019, he added, when he needed to spend more time speaking to relatives on the phone in Welsh. 

‘The banter was said to have intensified when he had to make telephone calls in Welsh at work to family members following his sister’s sudden death,’ the judgement states.

‘(He) says he was told that Welsh speech “sounds like you are spewing in a bucket”.’

The health and safety expert, from Llandudno in North Wales (pictured), worked for the company for two years before quitting

The health and safety expert, from Llandudno in North Wales (pictured), worked for the company for two years before quitting

Mr Bracegirdle told The Sun he was taking his employer to court to get ‘respect for Welsh people’. 

‘We need to move on from stereotyping. Eventually it just wears you down,’ he said.

Quinn Infrastructure Services Ltd, which provides infrastructure for the rail network, has denied all the allegations while also suggesting that Mr Bracegirdle ‘encouraged’ and joined in on the ‘banter’.

They told the tribunal that when his colleagues wished him happy St David’s Day, he replied by saying there was ‘not a sign of a willing sheep anywhere’. 

Quinn Infrastructure Services Ltd claim he left after his performance at work was criticised.

A further hearing will be held in due course by Employment Judge Goodman who allowed Mr Bracegirdle’s claims of racial harassment to proceed.

MailOnline has contacted Mr Bracegirdle and Quinn Infrastructure for comment. 

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