TWO former paratroopers who took the Ministry of Defence to a tribunal were subject to “highly offensive” racial harassment, an employment judge has ruled.

Nkulueko Zulu and Hani Gue, who were based at Merville barracks in Colchester, alleged they suffered racial discrimination and harassment, and said the Army did not take reasonable steps to prevent it.

The tribunal heard someone had drawn a swastika, a Hitler moustache and written offensive words on photographs of the men.

Judge Baty said this graffiti was “unquestionably related to race”.

A written judgment said: “We find the carrying-out of this act was so unpleasant it can only have been done with the purpose of violating the claimants’ dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating and offensive environment for them.”

The judgment outlined Mr Zulu and Mr Gue had accommodation in the barracks which was only accessible by key, and their rooms were opposite each other.

In January 2018, Mr Gue was in Mr Zulu’s room having a cup of tea and a colleague came to join them.

The colleague noticed the three photographs on the door to Mr Gue’s room had been defaced.

The judgement said: “The conduct was unquestionably unwanted; the graffiti in question was of the most unpleasant nature, set out on Mr Gue’s personal photographs and was racially highly offensive.”

The tribunal concluded the allegations of harassment were established in relation to both men adding: “It is not, therefore, necessary or appropriate to consider the matter as an act of direct discrimination.”

Mr Gue, who described himself as a black African of Ugandan nationality, joined the Army in 2012 and was later assigned to the 3rd Battalion based in Colchester.

He formally asked to leave in January 2018.

Mr Zulu, who served as a lance corporal in the Parachute Regiment and described himself as black South African, joined the Army in 2008 and formally applied to leave the forces almost ten years later.

The men’s solicitor Amy Harvey, of Banks Kelly Solicitors, said: “The claimants intend to seek compensation and recommendations from the tribunal that the MoD implement better equality and diversity training within the armed forces.”