Fleet News

Cowie settles out of court

A CASE of alleged sexual harrassment against Cowie Group chief executive Gordon Hodgson has been dropped following a payment of £4,000. Hodgson consistently denied former secretary Debra Bamborough's claims that he had kissed her twice seven years ago and, following the case, a Cowie spokesman said: 'The company does not feel anything untoward happened and does not accept liability.'

He said the £4,000 was paid into court to put a cap on rising legal costs and was in no way an admission of guilt. Bamborough chose to accept the fee and dropped the action. The spokesman said Bamborough had already been ordered to pay Cowie and Hodgson a fee of £2,000 to cover costs incurred while fighting previous claims which the court had thrown out.

He added that Cowie had ignored a letter from Bamborough asking for £15,000 so that she did not go public with her story. In a statement the company said Cowie, which is in the process of changing its name to Arriva, and Hodgson had been the subject of a sustained vendetta. The spokesman added that, although the statement was given in direct response to questions about the allegations regarding Hodgson, it referred to wider issues.

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