A CHAPLAIN at HMP Risley has been awarded thousands of pounds in compensation after she was made to feel 'bullied and initiated' by prison bosses over her disability.

An employment tribunal has ordered the Secretary of State for Justice to pay a total of £8,800 in damages to Reverend Lynette Sweet after 'disproportionate and unjustified' measures imposed on the prison chaplain led to her being discriminated.

The court heard that ordained priest Rev Sweet began working at HMP Risley in August 2014.

She informed the category C prison of her disability – which causes her to experience falls 'regularly and unpredictably' – at this time, but 'did not go out of her way to mention it'.

In the 12 months up to October 2016 Rev Sweet had a total of six falls, leading to the managing chaplain referring her to an occupational health advisor in December of that year.

An interim report in January 2017 found that said she was 'not fit to be on the prison premises', and her duties were temporarily restricted.

She was initially confined to the chaplaincy, but later allowed to go into admin building to collect post and do photocopying.

Another report in April 2017 found that Rev Sweet was 'medically fit to resume full duties', but she continued to suffer from falls.

In June 2017, the acting deputy governor decided to remove her access to door keys and prevent contact with prisoners – meaning that she could do 'virtually none of her usual duties'.

She was also told to 'go home and get a sick note' despite being well enough to work.

The court heard that Rev Sweet was 'upset and deeply aggrieved' by this and 'felt bullied and intimidated'.

While she would later return to work, her duties 'had no relevance to her role' – with 'demoralising' tasks often limited to sorting, packaging and distributing mail.

Rev Sweet has since been transferred to HMP Thorn Cross on a permanent basis.

Court documents said: "The discriminatory impact of this unfavourable treatment was stark.

"It effectively prevented the claimant from carrying out her role.

"In our view, restricting the claimant to the administration building and the visitor's centre was disproportionate and unjustified.

"The respondent therefore discriminated against the claimant arising from her disability.

"This was a long-lasting state of affairs that had a very real effect on the claimant's self-worth.

"She did not do the job she was employed to do or practice the ministry for which she had been ordained.

"The discrimination may have been a single act of unfavourable treatment, but its effects were not short-lived – they lasted many months."