A former social worker has won a payout of £36,000 after her former employers provided her with a bad reference.
Hazel Merriott-Brown, who had worked in the children and families department of South Tyneside council, missed out on the opportunity to become a family court advisor as a result of the reference, which was provided by her ex-supervisor.
She had been successful at the interview stage of her application and was offered the position subject to a second reference, which had been requested from her employers.
In an out-of-court settlement, the 35-year-old secured the compensation from the council, which employs in the region of 8,500 people.
Commenting on her victory, Ms Merriott-Brown stated: "I'm relieved I've been exonerated, but I now feel my career has had to move in a completely new direction, which will require considerable up-skilling," the Shields Gazette reports.