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'Racism is endemic' at Sussex NHS Trust placed in special measures

Last night we reported on claims of bullying, harassment and discrimination at the biggest NHS Trust in Sussex.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust has been placed in 'special measures' while major problems are being tackled. Today we spoke to a doctor who tells us racism at the organisation is 'endemic'.

It comes as the new Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission says a failure to tackle deep-rooted race inequality will cause more and more divisions in our society.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to Dr Vivienne Lyfar-Cissé, Chair of the NHS BME Network.


Football fan banned for racist abuse of player

A supporter at a Gillingham game has been hit with a three-year Football Banning Order after pleading guilty to the racial harassment of a Peterborough player.

Tony Edward Jackson, 33, of Medway Road in Sheerness, was arrested during a League One fixture between Gillingham and Peterborough United at Priestfield Stadium on Tuesday 16 September.

He was later charged with a racially aggravated public order offence, which he admitted and as well as the banning order, he was given a community order to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work within 12 months, £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Football fan banned from games Credit: Kent Police

Medway Magistrates’ Court heard that during the second half, Jackson was sat behind the Peterborough dug-out and was heard by the victim shouting abuse at a player leaving the pitch during a substitution.

It caused the victim, who was sitting on the substitutes’ bench to turn and look at him. As he did so, Jackson shouted a racially offensive comment which was likely to incite public disorder.

Officers were made aware of the incident and arrested Jackson at the stadium.

Jackson was served a three-year Football Banning Order, which precludes him from attending any football match above Conference South level, which is the second tier of non-league football, upwards.

The orders are a preventative measure designed to stop potential troublemakers from travelling to and attending football matches, both at home and abroad. Anyone who commits a football-related offence at one of these stadiums can be arrested and a Football Banning Order applied for.

These totally unacceptable comments made by Jackson are so out of place in what is a family-friendly environment and will simply not be tolerated.

Instances like this happen very rarely, but my officers attend matches to ensure those thinking of ruining the game and match day experience for others will be swiftly ejected and put before the courts where they run the risk of being banned from entering football grounds for several years.

We want to work with clubs and the FA and other organisations to stamp out such deplorable behaviour and would encourage anyone who experiences or hears anyone committing these types of offences to report it to police.

– Chief Superintendent Alison Roden

Footballer's racism 'hell'

Mark McCammon says he was unfairly dismissed Credit: PA

A black footballer who's suing his former club for racial discrimination says he was "put through hell" there.

Mark McCammon claims he was unfairly dismissed from Gillingham FC.

The 33 year old striker claims he was treated differently to white players.

He told an employment tribunal at Ashford that he was forced to come in for training when there were 'treacherous' driving conditions because of snow and that the club refused to pay some medical bills.

The club denies all the allegations and the final evidence is expected to be heard today.

No racism at Gillingham says football chairman

Mark McCammon says he was the victim of a racist campaign to drive him out Credit: ITV Meridian

Paul Scally, chairman of Gillingham Football Club,, is answering accusations that his highest paid striker Mark McCammon became the target of a racist campaign to drive him out of the club and sabotage his career.

In his witness statement to an employment tribunal at Ashford, Mr McCammon says club bosses tried to 'frustrate me out' of the club by refusing to pay private medical bills following injury. In contrast, a white player was flown to Dubai for treatment by an eminent physiotherapist.

And he says that after his dismissal 11 other clubs showed strong interest in him but talks collapsed in every case - the result, he claims, of a 'covert campaign' by Gillingham to 'sabotage' his career.

Mr McCammon was dismissed for gross misconduct after storming into the office of manager Andy Hessenthaler and accusing him of 'racism' because he'd fined him two weeks wages for non attendance during a day of heavy snow while telling white players they need not come in.

In cross examination, Mr Scally said it was completely untrue to suggest that Mr McCammon's wages were docked because he complained of racial discrimination. Asked why Mr McCammon did not receive private medical treatment like other players, he said the treatment in question was non urgent.

Mr McCammon, who was paid £2,500 a week, was dismissed in the final year of a three year contract. He is suing the club and Mr Scally for racial discrimination, unfair dismissal, breach of contract and failure to pay wages.

The club denies all allegations. Mr Scally told the tribunal this afternoon: "I am absolutely confident, convinced and comfortable that there is no racism at the club."


Footballer accuses Gillingham FC of racism

Mark McCammon in training Credit: ITV Meridian

A former Gillingham FC player has become the first in the country to sue his own club for racial discrimination.

Mark McCammon played three seasons at Priestfield before leaving in 2011.

An industrial tribunal has got underway in Ashford.

It is expected the tribunal will hear claims from McCammon of alleged racial discrimination and unfair dismissal.

The striker's allegations are being denied by Gillingham FC.