Lollipop man loses battle with Camden Council over sacking for ‘King Kong’ jibe

PUBLISHED: 11:27 07 January 2015 | UPDATED: 13:50 07 January 2015

Jon Seymour. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Jon Seymour. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Nigel Sutton 17 Redington Rd London NW3 7QX Tel 020 7794 3008 e.mail

A primary school lollipop man who sued Camden Council after he was sacked for a row with a black colleague who he called “King Kong” has had his case thrown out by a judge.

Jon Seymour was dismissed by the council in April last year for gross misconduct having served as a lollipop man at Carlton Primary School, in Grafton Road, Kentish Town, since 1995.

Trinidad-born Mr Seymour had been suspended by the council from July 2013 following an altercation at Camden Town Hall, in Judd Street, King’s Cross, with Johnson Akinmoyede, a black council employee whom he called “King Kong”.

The former lollipop man attended a two-day employment tribunal this week claiming his dismissal was unfair and seeking thousands of pounds in compensation.

He denied being overly aggressive in the altercation and insisted he was not being racist when he used the term “King Kong” because he is also black.

But yesterday, Judge David Pearl, sitting at the Central London Employment Tribunal, threw out Mr Seymour’s unfair dismissal claim, pointing out that the council had a clear code of conduct which Mr Seymour had been shown to have breached.

He added: “Therefore I conclude that the regrettable decision to dismiss the claimant was one that a reasonable employer could properly and legitimately take in these circumstances.”

The tribunal heard the row erupted because Mr Seymour was speaking loudly on his mobile phone in the town hall reception area as he waited for a meeting.

He was trying to arrange a parking refund over the phone after a meter swallowed £4 of change.

However, when Mr Akinmoyede came from a nearby office to ask him to be quieter, the tribunal heard Mr Seymour replied: “Who are you, King Kong? I will break you, move away from me.”

He was escorted from the building by security officers after the incident.

Following the incident, the tribunal heard Christopher Nicola, manager of the council’s Smarter Travel Team, conducted an investigation which took nine months, a length of time described by Judge Pearl as “regrettable”.

Louise McBride, head of transport strategy at the council, chaired the disciplinary hearing which dismissed Mr Seymour.

At the hearing last year, she described Mr Seymour’s behaviour during the row as “both physically and verbally aggressive and threatening.”

Speaking outside the tribunal, Mr Seymour said he would be appealing the decision.

He told the Ham&High: “There’s no justice in England. It leaves me jobless, it’s hard for me to get another job because I breached the code of conduct.

“Maybe I’ll emigrate to another country. I’ve been applying for jobs for the last year but they see I’ve been sacked and I don’t hear anything.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Friday, November 16, 2018

I live in the north west of London in the United Kingdom. Like the rest of the country, I have been looking on in bewilderment at the Brexit deal while politicians on both sides of the house vie for political supremacy. Divisions in government make for good news headlines but do nothing for the public’s confidence in its institutions.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Normally we celebrate one business of the week – but today we’ve got three!

Friday, November 16, 2018

A Routemaster bus will take 72 passengers on a journey through Greek Cypriot history, via Camden and Holloway, on Sunday.

Friday, November 16, 2018

The latest twist in the saga of a Hampstead landlord who refuses to pay a controversial levy saw him bring a top barrister to his court hearing.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Opponents of the 100 Avenue Road development suffered a major blow last night as Camden voted through a controversial plan that will funnel seven lorries a day through residential streets in Swiss Cottage.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley last week said Barnet Council treated them “like ants to be squashed” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Temple Fortune community was celebrating on Tuesday after Barnet’s Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build housing on the old Templars Tennis Club.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Tens of thousands of pounds, weapons and drugs were seized after searching a garage in the Peckwater Estate on Tuesday morning.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now