Anger as killer takes Royal Mail to tribunal... for sacking him

Police outside student accommodation in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth on Friday Picture Ben Fishwick

Man arrested in Portsmouth explosives probe at Stanhope Road student block is released by police

The father of murdered Paula Poolton has condemned her killer after he launched legal action against the Royal Mail - for sacking him.

Roger Kearney was convicted of killing his 40-year-old lover and sentenced to life in prison.

But the 57-year-old yesterday took a case to an employment tribunal claiming 8,225 in lost earnings.

Kearney says the Royal Mail breached his human rights by sacking him in January - before he was found guilty of murder in June.

Paula's father, Phil Cross, of Spring Road in Sarisbury Green, said: 'If he gets away with this it's a miscarriage of justice of some sort.

'My feelings about him haven't changed - I hope he rots in jail.

'He doesn't deserve a penny from this and he shouldn't be able to keep his pension or anything else.

'I can't understand why he's doing this, maybe he's just trying to keep himself in the limelight for some reason.'

Kearney, formerly of Painswick Close, Sarisbury Green, was represented at the tribunal in Reading, Berkshire, by his daughter.

In a statement, Kearney said: 'I believe Royal Mail decided that I was guilty of the crime and wanted to get rid of me as soon as possible.

'If Royal Mail felt that they could no longer trust me, they must have believed that the allegations against me were true and after 34 years of loyal service, a clear conduct record and no previous convictions, I am extremely disappointed that they came to this conclusion as it had no affect on my ability to perform my job and is a clear breach of my human rights.'

Royal Mail denies Kearney was unlawfully dismissed.

Southampton Mail Centre manager Keith Finch said he sacked Kearney because he felt there could be a 'risk' to the public because the murder of Ms Poolton, from Titchfield Common, was 'particularly violent'.

She had been stabbed several times and her body dumped in the boot of her car near Swanwick railway station in October 2008.

He said Kearney was also on bail and unable to enter Hampshire at the time.

Chairman of the tribunal Raymond Trickey reversed judgment in the case until January 19 and adjourned the hearing.