Orchard Park Garden centre 'fox hunting' employment tribunal begins

Professional gardener Joe Hashman was sacked from running a demonstration vegetable patch at Orchard Park Garden Centre of Gillingham, Kent because of his anti-fox hunting beliefs, he has told an employment tribunal in Southampton.

Professional gardener Joe Hashman believes he was unfairly dismissed for his anti-fox hunting beliefs - image: FlickR
Professional gardener Joe Hashman believes he was unfairly dismissed for his anti-fox hunting beliefs - image: FlickR


Hashman was employed by the Orchard Park Garden Centre in March 2009 to set up and maintain vegetable display plots.

But in September that year, Hashman was dismissed after he was involved as a witness in two hunting prosecutions and following the accidental death of a local pro-hunting figure.

Garden centre managing director is Richard Cumming and majority owners of the garden centre are hunt supporters Sheila and Ron Clarke.

Hashman said: "I believe now that my involvement in relation to hunting issues and ultimately my philosophical belief was the reason for my dismissal."

He said that he was later told that his vegetable patches were axed for financial reasons, but he said: "I believe this was a justification that was thought up after the event and was not the real reason my contract was terminated."

The hearing continues.



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