Australian money, currency or cash
Australian money, currency or cash

Bank manager sues over sexual harassment allegations

A BANK manager sacked after being labelled "creepy" on television last year has sued the Brisbane mum who made the claims about him.

Sean Cawley, who managed the Bank of Queensland branch in Narangba in Brisbane's north, has sued former customer and Narangba mum Kirsty Gilmour for defamation in the District Court over her claims he refused her bank loan after she rejected his sexual advances in his office.

Mr Cawley has asked the court to award him $306,938 damages over Ms Gilmour's allegedly defamatory claims, broadcast on Nine Entertainment's A Current Affair on February 6 last year.

He alleges he was stood down from his new job with GJ Gardner Finance on the day the show aired, and sacked a month later.

He alleges the false claims have forced him to move away from south-east Queensland to get a job.

Mr Cawley has also sued Ms Gilmour's former solicitor James Wright, from Newstead firm Colwell Wright, for $251,938 in damages claiming Mr Wright disparaged his reputation on A Current Affair by saying "It was overtly sexual, it was harassment, and that's not something that anyone expects of a bank manager".

Mr Cawley alleges Ms Gilmour defamed him when she told the program he told her "if I did stuff, he would approve the loan".

"Once I made clear to him that there was nothing happening, he declined the loan," she allegedly said.

Mr Cawley also alleges he was defamed when Ms Gilmour said "he treats women like they're a piece of meat", about him.

"He was creepy," she allegedly said, according to the court claim. She allegedly continued: "He would just constantly be harassing and it just didn't stop.

"He said that I needed to go into his office, he shut the door, he sat on the corner of his desk, he had his hands in his pockets and he was a bit … he seemed to be a bit aroused, and at that stage I ran out."

Mr Cawley was manager of the Naranga branch of BOQ until March 2017.

He states in his claim that Ms Gilmour lodged a complaint against him in the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland in April 2017 and four months later agreed to a "conciliation agreement" with Mr Cawley, not to disparage him publicly.

Mr Cawley states the damages he is seeking contain $82,125 in lost wages for the seven months he was out of work after GJ Gardner Finance sacked him, and $97,250 in the reduced salary he is now earning.

Ms Gilmour and Mr Wright have not filed a defence to the claims.


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