Payout for mechanic after garage shuts

A FORMER worker from a car dealership which mysteriously closed has been awarded more than £5,000 redundancy and unpaid earnings.Today it emerged it was likely to be the first of a series of claims against the company.

A FORMER worker from a car dealership which mysteriously closed has been awarded more than £5,000 redundancy and unpaid earnings.

Today it emerged it was likely to be the first of a series of claims against the company.

Mark Jewell Ltd, which had a servicing centre and sales site in High Street, Wickham Market, is facing the claims from unhappy ex-employees.

The workers were left without jobs when the business suddenly shut without warning or explanation.


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Mechanic Paul Morris, 31, of Reading Road, Ipswich, went to an employment tribunal to seek redress after being made redundant.

Mr Morris, who worked for Jewell's at Martlesham and then Wickham Market for six years, said: "I was told I was redundant and had to finish that day.

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"Everyone was made redundant – all except two were told to go on the day I was and the other two went the following week when the business closed."

Mr Morris told the tribunal he earned £355 a week with overtime but had not been paid for his final month's work.

The employment tribunal, sitting in Bury St Edmunds, awarded Mr Morris £5,079 – his claim for £2,137 redundancy plus a statutory award of £1,620, £300 lost holiday pay and £1,021 unpaid earnings.

Mark Jewell did not attend the hearing to contest it or give evidence.

After the case, Mr Morris said: "It's all very well the tribunal making an award against Mark Jewell but I don't know what happens next and how they make him pay the money he now owes me.

"I know there are other tribunals also taking place over the next couple of months with the other workers seeking redundancy.

"We thought closure was coming because you hear things, but no-one had said anything official so it was still quite a shock when it did happen.

"Car transporters were brought in and everything was just moved out overnight.

"There had also been a lot of vandalism when 20 cars were attacked on two nights and I think that hit hard as well."

The attacks on the expensive cars involved vandals pouring battery acid over paintwork, causing more than £20,000 of damage to vehicles on the forecourt frontage and compound behind.

The Jewell's business operated under a parent company, Mendlefleet Ltd. It previously operated from Barrack Square, Martlesham, displaying cars on one of the county's busiest roundabouts, but moved from there to Wickham Market.

After it left this site, notices were put on the doors and windows saying: "Customer notice – business suspended. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience".

Agents are working to re-let the site so that Mark Jewell's car company can be released from its lease.

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