Custom Search 1

Soldier wins £490,000 payout in racial discrimination case

DISCRIMINATION: Lance Corporal Inoke Momonakaya said the abuse left him wanting to take his own life

A SOLDIER has been awarded a record £490,000 in compensation from the Ministry of Defence after a six-year racial discrimination legal battle.

Lance Corporal Inoke Momonakaya, who is from Fiji and served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he was left suicidal after a “sustained campaign of racism”, the Mail on Sunday reported.

Momonakaya said he was subjected to racist bullying from fellow soldiers from the 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

In 2011, Momonakaya and five other Fijian soldiers were cast as a Taliban fighters in an MoD training video because of their skin colour, the Mail on Sunday reported.

They were allegedly told by a senior officer that they “must be feeling right at home wearing them dishdash [Arab robes] – no one can tell the difference [between] you guys and the Taliban”, according to the paper.

In the film, white soldiers were cast to play the roles of British soldiers.

When Momonakaya questioned an order which involved the soldiers from Fiji swimming 500 yards across a lake for the film, he was allegedly told by an officer: “The reason they don't want to swim is because they are afraid of water and black people don't swim. Have you ever seen a black Olympic swimmer?”

The 40-year-old told the Mail on Sunday: “The racism left me wanting to kill myself. I was going to buy a rope. Today, I am still undergoing psychological treatment and I may not be able to work again. It has left me suffering from a complex form of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It wasn't just me – other Commonwealth soldiers in my unit were treated like second-class citizens. It was a disgrace and a stain on the reputation of the British Army.”

Momonakaya, a father-of-four from Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, was called a “black b**tard by a senior officer and compared to a plastic children’s toy.

'This doll was black and had frizzy hair and a big nose. It was very ugly. The sergeant major said to me, 'Hey Momo, look what we've found you. It's got your nose and hair – it's your twin brother.'

The soldier, who was medically discharged in 2012 as a result of PTSD, had attempted to have the matters addressed internally but after the Service Complaints Commissioner, the Army watchdog, dismissed his case, he launched legal action against the MoD.

“Discrimination and bullying have no place in the Armed Forces and will not be tolerated. It would be inappropriate to comment on the details of a settlement,” the Mail on Sunday reported the MoD said.

Subscribe to The Voice database!

We'd like to keep in touch with you regarding our daily newsletter, Voice competitions, promotions and marketing material and to further increase our reach with The Voice readers.

If interested, please click the below button to complete the subscription form.

We will never sell your data and will keep it safe and secure.

For further details visit our privacy policy.

You have the right to withdraw at any time, by clicking 'Unsubscribe'.

Facebook Comments