A PHARMACIST who was “stereotyped as an aggressive black man” has won a racial harassment case which saw his colleague claim she couldn’t discriminate against because “she had black friends”.

Samson Famojuro, a pharmacist of a Nigerian national origin, has successfully sued Boots for racial harassment while employed at a store in Wickford and will receive compensation.

The respondent, Emma Walker, a pharmacy technician, defended the case by saying she “could not have discriminated” against Mr Famojuro due to her “friends”.

The report stated: “Mrs Walker told the tribunal that she could not have been influenced by the claimant’s race because having worked with the company for 25 years, she made a lot of friends with pharmacists. Two of whom were black Nigerian women who came to her wedding, one of them sang. She also invited several Asian pharmacists to her wedding.”

However, the tribunal stated, “the fact that a person has black friends does not mean they cannot discriminate in other contexts”.

On July 18, 2020, Mr Famojuro was assigned to work as the responsible pharmacist at the Silva Island Way branch.

He was working a shift with technician Emma Walker and pharmacy assistant Ms Nicole Daley, both white women. The hearing heard that Mr Famojuro was stereotyped as an “aggressive black man”.

The treatment escalated as the day went on, from “dismissive discourtesy, to open insubordination, to highly personal abuse”.

Mrs Walker’s threat to call the police was the “most extreme of the acts”.

The report added: “For a black man to be reported to the police for aggression against two white women, in the absence of any third-party witnesses, is potentially a very serious matter indeed. The conduct alleged was unwanted.”

The claimant then spent months trying to arrange a meeting to get the grievance investigated, before contacting Acas in October 2020.

Mr Famojuro later felt he had no choice but to resign from Boots.

The judge said: “Samson was calm during every call I had with him that afternoon and spoke clearly and professionally. It was very clear that Samson had the best interest of the patients and customers as well as the reputation of Boots at the front of his mind.”

The tribunal found Mrs Walker and Ms Daley gave “distorted and exaggerated accounts” of what happened.

The judge added: “Mrs Walker, Ms Daley and Ms Munson made no overt racist comments. Their repeated allegations of aggression could reasonably lead us to the conclusion that Mrs Walker and Ms Daley were stereotyping.”

There will be a one-day hearing to determine compensation.