Two former paratroopers from the British Army have won a case against the Ministry of Defence after a tribunal ruled they were subject to “highly offensive” racial harassment.
Nkulueko Zulu and Hani Gue alleged that they suffered racial discrimination and harassment and the Army did not take reasonable steps to prevent it.
The tribunal heard that photographs of the men had been defaced with a swastika, a Hitler moustache and the words “f*** off” and “n******”, which the judge said was “unquestionably related to race”.
The graffiti was discovered in January 2018. Mr Gue was in Mr Zulu's room having a cup of tea and a colleague who came to join them noticed that the three photographs on the door to Mr Gue's room had been defaced.
Mr Gue, who described himself as a black African of Ugandan nationality, joined the Army in October 2012 and formally asked to leave in January 2018.
Mr Zulu served as a lance corporal in the Parachute Regiment and described himself as black South African. He joined the forces in June 2008 and left almost 10 years later.
Though the person behind the vandalism is not known, the tribunal ruled it was "so unpleasant, it can only have been done with the purpose of violating the claimants' dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating and offensive environment for them."
Amy Harvey, the solicitor representing Mr Gue and Mr Zulu, said her clients now intend to seek compensation and call for recommendations from the hearing that the MoD “implement better equality and diversity training within the armed forces”.
An MoD spokesman said: "As a modern and inclusive employer, the Armed Forces do not tolerate unacceptable behaviour in any form.
“Any allegations of inappropriate behaviour are taken extremely seriously and investigated thoroughly,” he added.