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Sacked charity worker ditches hunger strike

This news post is almost 9 years old

​Former IT worker abandons hunger strike for a light supper followed by a "massive breakfast"

A sacked charity worker has ended a hunger strike after just four days.

Paul Steele took the draconian action after being sacked by Edinburgh charity Ace IT for alleged theft of an iPad.

But now the former IT worker has ditched the action after enjoying a “massive breakfast”.

Steele’s troubles began after an iPad was stolen following a break-in at the charity’s premises.

After analysing CCTV footage bosses at the charity took legal advice and consequently sacked Steele after a short hearing, believing he was the culprit.

An outraged Steele then mounted a public campaign demanding an apology from the organisation

A number of delays to the start date of the hunger strike meant it moved from the initial 6 April date to 20 April.

Steele, however, has now admitted he ended the strike despite the charity refusing to accept his demands.

He said: “Four days and no word, comment or response from Ace IT to the hunger strike they have forced upon me.

"As this is the case I have decided to end the hunger strike at midnight. I have bought food today and will have a very light late supper. Don't want to over do things as while the cramps don't seem as bad I have been feeling queasy all day.

"This has been one of the most horrible experiences of my life. The body issues are nasty as expected but the sheer mind-ache was something that came out of the blue and is as hard to cope with as the hunger!

“However within the last 24 hours I have heard from several official contacts regarding moving matters on in a direction where my interests are given fair consideration and the evidence is finally given due and proper attention.

“This is all I ever asked from the very beginning and I feel the tide is starting to turn at long last.

“I have therefore decided to end the hunger strike.”

He added: "So light supper likely followed by an early massive breakfast and a day planning the next stage of this ongoing protest...

“While the strike might be over the fight still goes on.”

Last month Jenny Ridge, chief executive of Ace IT, told TFN she stood by the charity’s decision to sack Steele.

“It is unfortunate it has come to this but we are confident we have followed due process and taken lawyers’ advice throughout,” she said.

“We were involved with police and although there was insufficient evidence for an arrest, we were advised by our lawyers there was enough evidence to dismiss Mr Steele.

“That is the basis for his dismissal. We have known Paul for many years and we didn’t take this decision lightly.”



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Paul Steele
almost 9 years ago
The hunger strike was brought to a end on the start of the fifth day when the charity was set to close for a three day break (The protest is set to continue but in a form less likely to damage my health in the long term). Word had also reached me that the ACE IT chief exec had informed an independent source that despite the new evidence and my ongoing protest the charity would not reconsider their decision to dismiss me on charges of gross misconduct. Their refusal to acknowledge and failure to respond to the new witness coming forward and establishing my innocence or the instigation of a formal Police complaint into the (only) evidence used to dismiss me which ACE IT claim originated from Police Officers and yet which Police Scotland have repeatedly denied is the case - Shows the complete and utter contempt they have for me, the law and my basic human rights!
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Paul Steele
almost 9 years ago
Update 8th May 2015.... Just had a conversation with the Police Officer who has been handling my complaint into the evidence ACE IT claim came from the force and which was the only evidence used to dismiss me. The officer is placing the investigation report before a senior officer for approval before a letter with the findings is sent to me. While I can not discuss (at this time) the material I have been informed is awaiting final approval – I can tell you that this should finally bring the matter to an end once and for all. I can also inform you that I have been crying some very happy tears whilst doing a very silly little dance!! Stay Tuned Via
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