Sex abuse victim sues HMRC after being sacked over ‘too many sick days’ in run up to trial

The victim of a serial sex attacker is taking legal action against the HMRC after she was sacked by the agency weeks after she gave evidence against him.

The 48-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was one of three women targeted by rapist Jason Okwara in Dundee between 2004 and 2012.

It’s claimed the victim, who was sexually assaulted by Okwara, lost her job as an HMRC call handler because she took too many sick days off work in the run-up to last November’s trial.

The HMRC call centre at Sidlaw House

Now, Dundee-based legal firm Muir Myles and Laverty is pursuing a case of unfair dismissal and discrimination on behalf of the woman.

It is understood that she worked for HMRC for two-and-a-half years.

Solicitor Ryan Russell, partner at Muir Myles and Laverty, said: “I can confirm we have been instructed to pursue a claim of unfair dismissal and discrimination.”

Okwara was found guilty of raping two women and sexually assaulting a third between 2004 and 2012 at different locations in Dundee.

Jurors heard how he told one victim: “Your mouth says no, but your body says yes.”

The 45-year-old, who is originally from the US, pleaded not guilty to all charges, forcing his victims to give evidence and relive the horror of the attacks. The first rape occurred on a “particularly vulnerable” woman at a property in Broughty Ferry in 2004.

She was asleep at the time having previously told Okwara she did not want to have sex.

Jason Okwara

It was stated she was “incapable of giving or withholding consent”.

Okwara, also of Dundee, struck again five years later at a different address in the city. Jurors heard this victim “simply froze” as he told her “your body says yes” while raping her.

Okwara later molested a third victim in August 2012. She believed he only stopped when she shouted at him.

He was finally caught during a probe into the attacks years later.

Sentencing Okwara, Lady Rae said pre-sentencing reports “did not make good reading”. She said it appeared he believed he had “a sense of entitlement to women and sex”.

An HMRC spokesman said: “We do not comment on individual staff members. We are committed to treating all our staff fairly and with consideration at all times.”