Paul Gilroy QC has successfully defended a couple accused by Daniel Sturridge and his partner of racial harassment and victimisation.
Daniel Sturridge rented a property owned by the Defendants in Cheshire, whilst the footballer was playing for Liverpool Football Club. Shortly after moving in, Sturridge gained access to a screen at the property and discovered a Netflix profile which contained a racially offensive username. The profile had been created by the 11 year old son of the property owners.
The Court dismissed the claims of harassment under section 26 of Equality Act 2010, finding that neither parent was aware of the existence of the profile on the private account. The inadvertent failure of the parents to log out of the Netflix account before they leased the property did not amount to them engaging in unwanted conduct. The Court also dismissed a claim of victimisation pursuant to section 27 of Equality Act 2020. The judge was satisfied that the Defendants had made clear that they were genuinely upset for what had occurred and had made a genuine attempt to apologise.
This case provides an unusual (albeit high profile) example of the areas other than employment covered by the Equality Act.