South East Wales

Hardwick sexual discrimination allegations dismissed

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Media captionChef Stephen Terry said he was saddened by the claims

The restaurant run by celebrity chef Stephen Terry has been cleared of allegations of sexual discrimination.

Chloe Maisey made 21 claims about The Hardwick, Abergavenny, including having a sea bass and a mouse thrown at her.

But Mr Terry and other staff said it was "banter" in such a "pressurised" environment.

An employment tribunal in Cardiff dismissed Ms Maisey's case saying she "lied or wildly embellished facts to embolden her claims".

Ms Maisey, 19, of Merthyr Tydfil, spent just three months as a trainee pastry chef at The Hardwick last year and told the tribunal she was initially "delighted" to be working at the restaurant.

But she said there were no female changing rooms and she was forced to change in front of men.

She claimed staff made comments about her body and one man threatened to slap her bottom.

Ms Maisey also alleged she was shut in a work freezer and burnt on the arm with a hot metal tray.

But tribunal chairman Roger Harper said panel members were unconvinced by her story.

"We find that on numerous occasions Chloe Maisey lied or wildly embellished facts to embolden her claims," he said.

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Image caption Chloe Maisey made 21 allegations about working as a chef at the Hardwick

"She left because she couldn't handle the long hours. Many of her claims were dishonest.

"It is significant that she never complained to staff at the restaurant, her mother or father or her boyfriend.

"It was only at the end of her employment that she raised any grievance with her family," he added.

Restaurant owner Mr Terry had told the tribunal Ms Maisey's claims were "devastating" she had never raised any of her issues with him.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Terry he said: "We are very pleased and accept the findings. It is very unfortunate - we didn't plan on being here.

"We want to draw a line underneath it. It is has been very disruptive to my work life and family life," he said.

"I look to move on and forward."

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