A former Black Country prison guard who claimed she was “bullied” from her post over her appearance caused hysteria among prisoners by wearing a revealing V neck jumper, a tribunal heard.
Senior prison officers told the hearing that Amijto Kajla, was continuously putting herself and other officers at Brinsford Prison, near Featherstone at risk.
The 22-year-old is claiming constructive unfair dismissal against the Government after she said she was bullied and harassed by senior staff about her appearance to the point she felt forced to resign from the Young Offenders institute.
But she said Saun Elcock, a senior officer, said prisoners were ringing an “unusual number of bells” as they attempted to get her attention “So they could get a look at her,” after she walked past their cells in the tight jumper.
He suggested Miss Kajla did not know her appearance was inappropriate and that she “preferred to be friends with prisoners rather than an authority figure”.
Michael Doolan, another senior prison officer and former colleague of Miss Kajla, told the hearing her appearance was “overbearing” and brought “unwarranted attention” from inmates.
Mr Doolan said Miss Kajla wore a significant amount of make-up including “heavy eyeliner, dark mascara, rouge on her cheeks and embossed lipstick.”
He said Miss Kajla also lacked the necessary skills to challenge prisoner’s behaviour and she needed to learn to define boundaries between her and prisoners.
Both Mr Doolan and Mr Elcock defended their colleague Lee Hastings, who Miss Kajla has accused of bullying, saying he had an “abrupt” manner which could be perceived to be “offensive” but this was “just the way he is.”
Stephen Roberts representing Miss Kajla suggested: “When it comes to bullying and discrimination it’s people’s perceptions that count.”
Mr Elcock also said Miss Kajla was guilty of “horsing around with prisoners” as she engaged in “childish tricks acceptable to prisoners amongst each other, but not with staff.”
He said Miss Kajla allowed herself to be surrounded by large groups of prisoners, touching their shoulders and arms and putting herself at risk.
Jenny Smith, another senior officer, said she twice gave Miss Kajla advice about her dress code and appearance at the request of Mr Doolan.
Miss Smith said she expected Miss Kajla to have more “jail craft” having worked also in Shrewsbury Prison before moving to Brinsford.
On one particular occasion the tribunal heard a prisoner passing Miss Smith and Miss Kajla, asked Miss Smith: “Why don’t you wear more makeup, I want more prison officers to look as fit as Miss Kajla.”
Miss Smith said that as a female prison officer comments from young inmates were not uncommon but that it was important to challenge them.
She said inmates had noted her lack of assertiveness and targeted her because of it. She added Miss Kajla “appeared to favour her appearance over her safety”.
Mr Roberts said there were no prison regulations against the amount of makeup an officer can wear.
The case continues.