A SETTLEMENT has been reached in favour of a gay theatre worker who recently won a tribunal case against his former council employers.

The undisclosed figure was agreed between Durham City Council and solicitors representing Fausto Gismondi on the eve of a proposed settlement hearing.

Mr Gismondi, 28, left his job as booking manager at the city's Gala Theatre last June after complaining of "gay boy" remarks made by his manager, city council Press officer Ed Tutty.

After a five-day hearing, the tribunal ruled he was constructively dismissed by the council.

The Newcastle tribunal said the council's conduct in failing to take steps against Mr Tutty, "ought to cause them considerable shame".

Neither party can reveal the sum involved in the settlement, reached with the help of conciliation service Acas.

Mr Gismondi, now group sales manager at the Sunderland Empire Theatre, said last night: "No-one should have to endure that sort of treatment at work, and yet the council did nothing to stop the harassment, despite my complaints. I hope it makes employers understand it is against the law to turn a blind eye to this sort of discrimination."

A city council statement said "corrective action" was taken within 24-hours of the initial complaint by moving Mr Tutty, who was disciplined to what was considered "an appropriate level".

"Given the action taken by the council, we are disappointed at the findings, but as a public sector organisation, we acknowledge our employment standards must be higher than many other employers. In an effort to save the time of the tribunal and legal costs, we have come to what we feel is a fair settlement.

"We continue to review our procedures and will continue to strive to be an equal opportunities employer."