A HOTEL worker accused of sleeping on the job won thousands of pounds for being unfairly sacked by his bosses.

Raymond Goddard had been suffering with a migraine when he took a break at the Palm Court Hotel in Eastbourne.

Bosses claimed they found him snoring in an ante room inside the hotel, where Mr Goddard worked as the night porter.

But after dismissing Mr Goddard for gross misconduct, an employment tribunal ruled the hotel owners had not followed fair procedures.

The company was ordered to pay a total of more than £14,000 for wrongful dismissal.

Employment Judge Simon Cheetham QC heard that Mr Goddard was “summarily dismissed” after being on duty in April 2018.


CCTV showed him entering the room at 12.10am, and he was later found in that room by hotel director Milad Shehata at 1.30am.

Mr Goddard told the tribunal that despite not being seen leaving the room on CCTV, he had left via a side door and gone on patrol.

He said that “took as long as it took”, up to 45 minutes or more, but his bosses were sceptical.

Before completing his patrol, he returned to the room, and was feeling unwell, and had sat propped up with a blanket covering him and the light switched off.

He had set his alarm for 1.45am, the tribunal was told, and he said he was not asleep.

But Mr Shehata said Mr Goddard was “snoring loudly” and was only woken up by the director returning to the room to take a picture.


Judge Cheetham QC said it was possible Mr Goddard had dropped off to sleep if he was feeling unwell.

Mr Goddard was invited to an “investigation meeting”, and told that if he had breached company rules he could face a disciplinary meeting.

But the bosses instead used the meeting as a disciplinary meeting, and dismissed Mr Goddard for gross misconduct.

Mr Goddard’s appeal was rejected, despite offering new information that he was suffering from a migraine and had gone on patrol.

Judge Cheetham QC described it as a “serious procedural failing” on the hotel’s behalf and awarded Mr Goddard.

Since the judgment last year, Mr Goddard took out High Court proceedings to claim his £14,000, while Palm Court Hotel has appealed.

Last month Judge Cheetham QC told both parties he cannot intervene in High Court or County Court proceedings.