Boss spanked 'naughty' girls
By Declan Cunningham, Daily Express (London),
September 18, 1992

Nursing home boss Neal Mahfouz's idea of staff discipline was to put girls over his knee and smack them, an industrial tribunal was told yesterday.

He set them impossible memory tests and forced them into corporal punishment when they failed.

The tribunal decided that two girl care assistants who quit their jobs to escape the beatings were victims of sexual discrimination because Mr Mahfouz would not have treated male employees in the same way.

Kareen McCafferty, 17, who said Mr Mahfouz wrote a clause into her contract allowing him to beat her, was awarded 7,426 for loss of earnings and hurt feelings. Her colleague Tammeaka Cole, 19, got 6,510.

Tribunal chairman Christopher Tickle said both had been indecently assaulted in grossly humiliating circumstances under threat of losing their jobs.

"It was persistent, deliberate and grossly insulting," he added.

Miss McCafferty said she endured half a dozen beatings by Mr Mahfouz, co-owner of Lonsdale House nursing home at Kettering, Northamptonshire.

She was only 16 when he asked her to memorise house running procedures. At a later test she got about 20 questions wrong.

"He told me it was no good and I obviously wasn't trying," she said. She claimed Mr Mahfouz sat on a chair and ordered her to bend over his lap.

"He hit me with his hand on my bum about 20 times for each question I got wrong," she said.

The following night he left her in tears when he beat her on the bottom with a brush after another quiz session.

She said he also used other excuses to smack her. Miss Cole told the tribunal she was smacked with a 12-inch ruler when she failed to memorise the home's emergency procedures.

Mr Mahfouz denied smacking either girl and alleged they were sometimes unruly and disrespectful to him. Compensation was awarded against him and his mother Dr Yvonne Michael, co-owner of the home.


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