Grieving deputy harbourmaster dismissed two days after his wife’s funeral

Jeremy ‘Jez’ Butcher (aged 56), a deputy harbourmaster was dismissed from his job just two days after his wife’s funeral. Whilst on compassionate leave, he received an email from Yarmouth Harbour Commissioners on the Isle of Wight, informing him of their decision to discharge him with immediate effect on 23 November 2017. Mr Butcher was relieved of his duties because he had moored his boat in the wrong berth.

The deputy harbourmaster who is also a former Metropolitan Police detective sergeant, lost his wife after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and stated that getting fired for alleged gross misconduct had left him ‘broken at a time when he is already vulnerable’. He has consequently decided to take Yarmouth Harbour Commissioners to an employment tribunal and a campaign called ‘Justice 4 Jez’ has been initiated by his friend, Della Phillips. Ms Phillips would like to see Mr Butcher reinstated as deputy harbourmaster and has said that she is ‘disgusted’ at the way Jez has been treated.

Mr Butcher has commented on the campaign saying that ‘I spent 31 years in the police putting wrongs right, so I fully support what’s going on with this campaign and I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through what I have’. Furthermore, he also elaborated on his decision to litigate, stating that ‘I am taking this to tribunal because I feel it should be out in the open, so people know exactly what happened and to allow me to keep my dignity’.

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