Accountant Grenfell Wins Payout After Colleagues Allege He’s Having An Affair

Francis Austin and Monika Newton were accused of sneaking sex (Image: PA)

Two workers accused of secretly having sex while they were allegedly dealing with the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy have won a sexual harassment case.

Accountant Francis Austin, who is paid the equivalent of £150,000 a year, hired Monika Newton for £450 a day for his finance team.

Both support Kensington and Chelsea Council’s response to the deadly apartment fire.

But a job board heard his deputy Lesley Shields suspected they were ‘tipping for each other’ – and referred to Ms Newton as ‘c**t’ and ‘b****’ to fellow workers. Karma.

As they left a date, she told a co-worker that they had to go to a hotel to have sex. Mr Austin and Ms Newton have now sued the council.

Ms Shields told the central London hearing Mr Austin’s behavior changed following Ms Newton’s 2019 appointment.

“He was late to work and came home early, and often took Miss Newton to lunch,” she said. ‘There were grumblings in the team. Mr. Austin will attend all of Mrs. Newton’s meetings. ‘

The court said Ms Shields was ‘disappointed’ that they were ‘a waste of time and money’ by leaving for an afternoon.

She said ‘she’s suckling his c**k now’ – but ‘immediately regrets it and apologise’.

Mr Austin was accused of ‘having sex with Mrs Newton (Image: LinkedIn)
Ms. Newton sued the council, along with her former colleague
72 people tragically died when a fire tore through West London’s 24-story Grenfell tower (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

When she heard Ms. Shields speaking to people she suspected of infidelity, Ms. Newton complained of harassment, which resulted in the deputy receiving a warning.

Ms Newton’s short-term contract was not renewed in April 2020, while Mr Austin’s was terminated shortly thereafter.

But a panel chaired by Judge Natasha Joffe ruled Ms Shields’ comments were sexual harassment and created a ‘disgraceful environment’.

Unless the couple and the council reach an agreement, a hearing will determine compensation next year.

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Huynh Nguyen

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