Kenyan woman suing London Met police for £400,000

Marie Auma, outside Central London County Court during hearing of her case against Met Police. Photo by Paul Keogh 07914 583 378

A cousin of Barack Obama is suing Scotland Yard for £400,000 after claiming colleagues would deliberately pass wind at her desk to make her life a misery.

Marie Auma says police officers and Met staff conspired to bully her, including two who would regularly break wind near her while working at Southwark Police Station.

The 57-year-old, who was at Mr Obama’s inauguration in 2009, claims she was ‘belittled and humiliated’ in the campaign of alleged harassment.

It stemmed from refusal of leave to visit her brother’s grave after he died in a car crash in Kenya in 2007 and ended in her being medically retired with mental health difficulties.

Now in a trial at Central London County Court, Miss Auma, of Green Lanes, Palmers Green, Haringey, is fighting for compensation. The Met denies liability.

Her barrister Lorraine Mensah told Judge Simon Freeland QC that Miss Auma, whose job involved liaising with crime victims, had been the victim of ‘21st Century bullying’.

Few of the individual incidents which occurred between 2007 and 2009 could be said to be harassment, but together they formed a ‘culture’ of bullying against her, she said.

She told the court Miss Auma had been refused leave to visit Kenya in 2007, following the deaths of two of her brothers in an accident.

When she complained about the refusal, she was branded a trouble-maker in the force’s ‘rumour mill’, said the barrister.

She said there was a ‘pack mentality’ and that the rumours led directly to an officer and another civilian employee deliberately breaking wind at her desk.

‘Most of the behaviour was open,’ said Mrs Mensah.

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