Lloyds banker sacked after defending 'teen racially abused and kicked in the face in bus mask row'
A LLOYDS banker claims he has been sacked after defending a teen who was allegedly racially abused and kicked in the face by a passenger during a furious row over face masks on a bus.
Kizu Stanford, 26, says he intervened to defend the 16-year-old after she became embroiled in a violent row with a couple on board a bus in West Bromwich last October.
Mr Stanford told BirminghamLive he was sitting on the 79 bus when an angry couple began to sling verbal abuse towards a maskless-mum who was with her child.
A nearby teenage girl – who then jumps to the mum’s defence – was then allegedly racially abused as tensions flared during the incident on October 1.
All three continue to argue as the teenager is chastised for putting people in danger, before the woman appears to shout: “If you weren't sixteen years old I would knock you the f*** out.”
Other passengers tell them to calm down and tell the pair to stop arguing with a teenager.
Eventually they are told to get off the bus, but as they leave the man appears to turn and shoves his foot at the teen's face. She shouts: "Oh no, you didn't just do that.”
At this point, Mr Stanford leapt out of his seat and wrestled the man to the floor, before appearing to stamp on his head and march him off the bus.
He screams: “What the f*** are you doing. You piece of s***. I will murder you.”
The former bank clerk told BirminghamLive that he had related his account of the incident to colleagues, but one of them reported it to management when the video went viral online.
Mr Stanford claimed that he was suspended without investigation just two days later.
'BECAME A VILLAIN'
He alleged that he was later dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct on November 29 – a week before his birthday.
Mr Stanford told BirminghamLive: “You become a folklore online but a villain by the company.”
“I knew I had to act, but I didn’t for one second think that my actions would lead to me losing my job.
“I did what I thought was the right thing to protect her.
“I don’t regret it at all, but I do regret the fact that Lloyds Bank has chosen to sack me.”
“I'm now out of a job at a really difficult time. They let me go a week before my birthday and just before Christmas and New Year.
“I don't think what the bank has done is fair at all."
Mr Stanford is a member of BTU, the largest trade union representing the staff and has launched an appeal to reinstate his job.
A spokesman for BTU claimed: "Lloyds Bank decided to dismiss Mr Stanford on the grounds of Gross Misconduct following a superficial assessment of his case.
"No reasonable employer would have dismissed him.
"It is important to note that the police scrutinised Kizu Stanford's actions in detail and took no action against him whatsoever.
"If the Police weren’t worried, why should Lloyds Bank be concerned enough to dismiss him?
“If Lloyds Bank is concerned about its public image, it should be defending and protecting Kizu, not vilifying him.”
A spokesman for Lloyds Banking Group told The Sun Online they are following normal internal protocol but could not comment on individual cases.
They added: “We are following our normal internal processes; however it would be inappropriate for the Group to comment on an individual's circumstances.
“Our Group has a colleague code of responsibility in place to safeguard both our colleagues and customers and we do expect all colleagues to adhere to this. Our code is a reference point for every colleague and sets out how we work responsibly and professionally.”
West Midlands Police tonight confirmed that a 49-year-old man has been charged with racially aggravated public order, racially aggravated common assault and common assault.
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