Sacked 'shark-wrestling' charity worker agrees settlement

Paul Marshallsea, dismissed from the Pant and Dowlais Boys & Girls Club after being spotted on a beach while on sick leave, has settled with his former employer without a tribunal hearing

Paul and Wendy Marshallsea in Australia
Paul and Wendy Marshallsea in Australia

The man sacked after pulling a six-foot shark away from a group of children on an Australian beach while on sick leave from the charity he founded has settled his employment tribunal case outside the court.

Paul Marshallsea, who was a project coordinator at the Pant and Dowlais Boys & Girls Club, and another man were filmed grappling with the dusky whaler shark in January 2013, gaining him national recognition.

He and his wife Wendy were on sick leave from the charity, which provides sports and leisure facilities for children and young people in Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales.

Marshallsea set up the club, which was registered in 2003, after his own son became a drug addict. He took sick leave for stress in April 2012.

Marshallsea told Third Sector in March last year: "We got home ready to start work only to find a letter there saying I’d been sacked. It said that if I was well enough to be on a beach, I was well enough to be at work."

His bid for compensation at the Cardiff employment tribunal has been settled by an agreement reached without a hearing, which was scheduled for March, taking place.

A spokesman for the tribunal said he understood the case had been settled. "The case is not officially closed as far as the tribunal service is concerned," he said. "We’re waiting for confirmation of that agreement."

The charity did not respond to a request for comment from Third Sector. Last year, a spokeswoman said the charity’s trustees had been dealing with a "range of issues" around Marshallsea.

Third Sector was unable to contact Marshallsea for comment.

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Pant and Dowlais Boys and Girls Club

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