Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
Topic Options
#457970 - 02/13/13 08:15 AM British Diplomat removed for touching bottoms
Marty Offline

Diplomat sues government for £1million after he was removed from Belize post over allegations he touched politician's wife's bottom

  • John Yapp was British High Commissioner in Belize until suspension in 2008
  • He was left 'shell-shocked' when told of the allegations against him
  • Foreign Office accused of failing to back Mr Yapp as he faced the claims

A former British High Commissioner who was ordered home after he was accused of touching the bottom of a politician’s wife is suing the Government for £1million.

John Yapp said that despite being cleared by the Foreign Office of the ‘scurrilous’ claim, he found himself sidelined and ‘ostracised’ before he retired after a 40-year career.

He was suspended in June 2008 after being accused of behaving ‘inappropriately towards women at official functions’ in Belize. The women were reported to have been Kim Simplis, the common-law wife of prime minister Dean Barrow, or businesswoman Lauren Reardon Smith.

But Mrs Reardon Smith later dismissed claims she had been groped, and said that, far from making advances, Mr Yapp had been shocked by the forwardness of Belizean women.

Alan Payne, the barrister for the Foreign Office, told the High Court yesterday that Mr Yapp had been accused touching a woman’s bottom during a party game at a social event.

But Jane McNeill, Mr Yapp’s QC, said the claims were ‘unfounded and scurrilous’ and that Mr Yapp was ‘shell-shocked’ by the bizarre allegations, which were later wholly rejected by the Foreign Office’s own disciplinary panel.

Mr Yapp, 61, of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, said the claims were ‘completely ridiculous, nonsensical and untrue’ and said that his superiors in London had ‘prejudged’ the issue before taking the drastic decision to pull him out of Belize after 37 years of service. He was never re-engaged at ambassadorial level.

Miss McNeill said: ‘It is his case that he was presumed guilty before being given an opportunity to comment on the allegations against him – or before the Foreign Office had carried out even the most preliminary investigation to see whether such allegations were worthy of belief.’

She said the Foreign Office had failed to support Mr Yapp as he faced the baseless misconduct claims, despite him having been a ‘loyal and dedicated’ diplomat for almost four decades.

She said the department had shown a ‘lack of humanity’ – barring Mr Yapp from contacting friends and colleagues in Belize and delaying the return of his family’s possessions to the UK. She said Mr Yapp was put through an internal disciplinary procedure which ‘broke almost every rule in the fairness book’ as well as ‘resurrecting’ stale bullying claims.

In August 2008, the department’s disciplinary panel cleared Mr Yapp of inappropriate behaviour towards women but gave him a final written warning about his overbearing management style. Miss McNeill said: ‘We say the pursuit of management style and bullying allegations appears to have been carried out to support the decision that had already been made to withdraw him from the post.’

Mr Yapp said the department’s failure to support him triggered a major mental breakdown, leaving him haunted by lingering symptoms of depression.

In his final years at the Foreign Office, Mr Yapp said he was sidelined and felt a ‘deep sense of loss’ at his treatment and he retired in 2011. He said his superiors should have waited to hear his ‘side of the story’ before he was withdrawn on the strength of ‘bizarre and outlandish’ accusations.

Mr Payne said there was ‘clear evidence’ that some of Mr Yapp’s staff had felt ‘bullied’ by him. Mr Yapp accepted that he was ‘not Mr Perfect’, but said: ‘The honest truth is that I didn’t bully them.’

The Foreign Office denies claims that it failed to support Mr Yapp, maintaining that the decision to suspend him was reasonable given the serious accusations. The case continues.

Daily Mail

#457984 - 02/13/13 09:32 AM Re: British Diplomat removed for touching bottoms [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

People may remember that the UK government suddenly withdrew their High Commissioner to Belize, John Yapp, amongst allegations that had behaved improperly towards one of several ladies at a party.

The ladies concerned were either Denise Courtenay, Lauren Reardon Smith and Kim Simplis who later got married to our Prime Minister.

Lauren Reardon Smith later went on record to state that nothing untoward had ever happened, Eamon Courtenay told the San Pedro Sun just yesterday that nothing happened and no complaint was ever made http://sanpedrodaily.com/8-6-08.html , and Prime Minister Barrow and Kim later invited John Yapp to their wedding and remain firm friends. Clearly the story which couldn't even decide which woman had been so disgustingly mauled, was a load of old tripe.

The UK Daily Mail in conjunction with their then Tabloid Troll reporter Dennis Rice printed a scurrilous 'exposé' of John Yapp and later had to print a retraction and apology and even had to pay a substantial and yet undisclosed sum to John Yapp after it was proven in court that what they printed was not true in the least bit.

Me and the missus were even joined at the table by Dennis Rice when he crashed our Wednesday night dinner at the local Chinese, to pump us mercilessly for some dirt on this poor man. He told us flatly right there and then that if we knew anything dirty on John Yapp we should tell him right there and then because if he didn't get a good juicy story, then he would probably make something up that was far worse, because a good scandal made the papers far more money that any later damages that they may have to pay.

John Yapp was forbidden by the Foreign Office to contact any of his previous friends or staff in Belize to help with his defence on the internal investigation, and indeed was not told the details of any of his accusers, nor what it was they were saying about them.

The internal investigation done by the Foreign Office cleared John of any misconduct, but issued him with a final written warning about his 'overbearing management style'. Obviously nobody at the internal investigation knew John or they would have thrown this out immediately. After all he had had over thirty five years with the Foreign Office without any other such complaints.

But the Foreign Office didn't stop there. John was sidelined, never given another overseas posting, even though normally he would have been made an ambassador and maybe even given a gong before retiring.

Could it be that the real reason that John was royally stabbed in the back by three of his underlings?

At the time there was a desperately ambitious person working for the foreign office that made it very clear that he wanted John's job. I know this because he mentioned to me several times that he wanted the position, and constantly denigrated John in public. The same individual also promoted two local hire staff to positions that they were clearly incapable of doing. There are strong rumours, that I personally believe from what I subsequently saw after this had blown over, that he was also having a sexual affair with one of the people that he promoted. When this individual was posted from Belize, both the local hires were sacked in short order by the new HC for not being very good at their jobs at all, and indeed for doing several things totally out of order.

I am of the opinion that this desperately ambitious person along with the two aforementioned local hires who he had deep in his pocket did a very effective hatchet job on Mr Yapp with the sole intention of vacating him from his position so that there would be a gap easy to fill by those who were already there.

Other employees at the High Commission at this time quite liked John, and remember him as a good man, he is sometimes discussed at various High Commission open nights across the bar at the club. Nikki was his personal assistant up to a few months before the recall and certainly bears him no ill will, but is bound by a myriad of agreements not to talk about the matter, even to me.

I have to say that I barely knew John even though Nikki saw him every day, so I can't call him a friend or even an acquaintance really. He did invite me once to dinner when Nikki's opposite number came over from Jamaica, and I talked to him briefly once or twice. I didn't find him overbearing at all. Not the sort of man I would readily hang around with though as his position precluded him from having any real fun.

But I do know a hatchet job when I see one, and hate bullying such as this, especially when I am certain I know the underlying reason, and can see no fault on behalf of the injured party.

We will see what the UK courts make of this shortly.

#463786 - 05/07/13 06:00 AM Re: British Diplomat removed for touching bottoms [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

British Court Says former BHC Yapp Was Unfairly Done In By Courtenay Complaint

Since 2008, we’ve been reporting on the case of John Yapp, the former British High Commissioner to Belize who was abruptly relieved of his post and sent home after a complaint emerged that he’d behaved inappropriately – specifically that he’d touched a woman’s behind at a cocktail party. For years, rumours circulated as to who that woman may have been – but now, a judgment in British Court has been handed down – and it says the woman was Denise Courtenay and the man who complained about it was her husband, Eamon Courtenay. The 42 page judgment arises out of a lawsuit Yapp filed against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, saying that he had been unjustly dismissed from his Belize posting. The judgment discloses the details of confidential conversations Courtenay had with Foreign Office Staff. The Courtenay Allegations, as they are called, were put into an e-mail which says, quote, “at private events the claimant had acted inappropriately with women, including touching Mrs Denise Courtenay’s bottom, and so people were no longer prepared to invite him to events.

The mail also lists six other allegations in which Courtenay is alleged to have said he had declined to attend events at the High Commission during the visit of (a British) Minister, and that quote, “Mr Courtenay commented that the sooner the claimant left Belize the better.”

There were also allegations of harassment and bullying of staff, but ti seems the allegation of sexual misconduct were the most defining one as “(the) concern with the allegations about the claimant’s sexual misconduct, not with his treatment of High Commission staff.”

But Courtenay’s Allegations came under scrutiny, former high commissioner Phillip known to be one of the most over-sensitive persons in Belize. Also, an investigator from the British Foreign office reported that he had raised the issue of sexual misconduct with seven persons, both inside and outside the High Commission, and none had witnessed any of what Mr Courtenay had alleged.

Eventually, his allegation was regarded as lacking in credibility and that, quote, “what Mr Courtenay said on this topic was, in fact, nonsense.”

The British judge found that Yapp’s contract was breached and he is entitled to damages.

Eamon Courtenay had no comment when we reached him today.

Channel 7


Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!

Things to do

Daily News
Daily Weather

Classified Ads
San Pedro Sun
Ambergris Today
SP Town Council
Channel 7
Channel 5
Love FM
The Reporter
Caye Caulker

TV Newscasts
Radio Stations

Click for our
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites

Event Guides
Event Calendar
Specials & Events
Things to Do
iTravel Belize
Paradise Theater

San Pedro Scoop!
Tia Chocolate
My Beautiful Belize
I-Travel Belize
Belize Adventure
Belize Hub
Romantic Travel
Bound for Belize
Conch Creative
As The Coconuts Drop
More Blogs...
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites
Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
Mini Chat

Cayo Espanto
Click for Cayo Espanto, and have your own private island
More Links
Click for exciting and adventurous tours of Belize with Katie Valk!
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
Who's Online
2 registered (2 invisible), 50 Guests and 6 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
18,631 Registered Members
44 Forums
63,679 Topics
461,169 Posts

Most users ever online: 1,262 @ 06/10/07 02:16 PM

AmbergrisCaye.com CayeCaulker.org HELP! Visitor Center Goods & Services San Pedro Town
BelizeSearch.com Message Board Lodging Diving Fishing Things to Do History
BelizeNews.com Maps Phonebook Belize Business Directory
BelizeCards.com SanPedroDaily.com Picture of the Day

The opinions and views expressed on this board are the subjective opinions of Ambergris Caye Message Board members
and not of the Ambergris Caye Message Board its affiliates, or its employees.