Racist bullies who tormented a Sikh salesman so badly he is unlikely ever to work again kept their jobs - with one of them even promoted.

John Cleary, 51, Stuart Smith, 45, and Glynn Smith, 41, were found by a tribunal to have subjected 36-year-old colleague Kieran Sidhu to a sustained campaign of vile racist abuse when they worked together at tech giant Exertis in Chineham.

British-born Mr Sidhu endured being branded an “Arab shoe bomber”, the “only ethnic on the team” and a “temperamental Syrian immigrant” who was “f***ing for ISIS”.

The tribunal found that the sales team would sing to the tune of football chant Que Sera Sera: ‘Sidhu, Sidhu, he works at O2. Sidhu, Sidhu, he’s an Arab too and he’s got a bomb in his shoe.’

They falsely accused account manager Mr Sidhu of being gay and repeatedly taped McDonald’s adverts and a spoof ‘gigolo’ business card to his computer screen, saying that was what he would be doing after getting fired

The panel at Southampton employment tribunal ruled that the trio racially harassed Mr Sidhu, who is now seeking a record payout of £6.6 million from tech firm Exertis.

After the judgment, Exertis said that it took "appropriate disciplinary action".

But it has now emerged that two of the culprits remained at the firm until this week and one was even promoted – despite HR advice that there were grounds to sack all three.

The panel noted that HR manager Sue Stratton concluded that there were “grounds for disciplinary action with the probability of dismissal to be taken against John Cleary, Stuart Smith, and Glynn Smith”.

But Stuart Smith’s LinkedIn profile shows he is still at the firm and was promoted to the position of Amazon and Online Accounts Director in 2020 – three years after Mr Sidhu quit in May 2017.

Stuart Smith has been at Exertis for over 21 years while Senior Amazon Account Manager Mr Cleary is now approaching his 24th year of service.

Calls were being put through to both men this week at their Basingstoke office.

However, following the widespread attention the tribunal has gained this week, the company has now insisted the employees no longer work there. 

It is thought that the employees must have been dismissed in the last five days. 

Glynn Smith is believed to have left the firm of his own accord to start up a property firm in March 2018.

Exertis declined repeated requests this week to explain why any of the trio had remained at the firm for so long.

It continued to insist it took “appropriate disciplinary action” after a “thorough internal investigation” when Mr Sidhu quit his job suffering from extreme depression and anxiety.

In its most recent statement, a spokesman said: "The employment tribunal decision relates to Exertis and a breach of the Equality Act 2010 within a specific area of the business.

"When the complaint was made four years ago, a full internal investigation took place resulting in disciplinary action. We fully respect the tribunal’s decision and take the findings extremely seriously.

"This was a unique case across a business of more than 1,800 employees. However, it was clear that certain behaviours fell significantly below the standards we expect. Our response and ongoing commitments to invest heavily in increasing awareness in relation to diversity will ensure that this should never happen again.”

However, the firm would not say when the employees were dismissed and why they were still working there as late as this week, four years after the complaint was made. 

Mr Sidhu, who is of Scottish and Indian descent and joined the firm in 2012, won his claims of race discrimination, racial harassment and constructive dismissal against Exertis.

In a scathing judgment, the tribunal found enquiries made by Exertis to be “inadequate” and "deficient" and outlined “flaws” in its internal probe.

It noted that the “discriminators were permitted to collude and close ranks”.

And it ruled: “We consider that the investigation was deficient in that it limited the people who were asked about allegations, largely, to those against whom allegations were made.

“In respect of some of the allegations, such as the song about Mr Sidhu being a shoe bomber and the statement “f*** your mum”, if, as the claimant says, those statements and songs had been made audibly and more than once, it is entirely possible that other people, such as those in the sales administration team, would have heard them.”

The tribunal found that Mr Cleary would deep-throat peeled bananas, saying: 'Kieran, you know what time it is. You know you want some, talk dirty to me bitch' and 'You must be so hard right now. That's why you won't stand up'.

He sent a team email, suggesting that Mr Sidhu have sex with him in a car park after their work Christmas dinner.

And he would accuse Mr Sidhu of using gay dating app Grindr and tried to force him to wear lingerie on the sales floor.

When Mr Sidhu refused, Glynn Smith asked him what was wrong, saying: ‘To be fair John couldn’t pimp you out for much, maybe if you lose some weight and fly you back to Syria.’

Glynn Smith referred to Mr Sidhu as “f***ing for ISIS” and circulated a photo of a bikini-clad woman, said to be 'Kieran's replacement'.

He looked up Mr Sidhu's house on Google Maps and declared he lived in a "sh*t area that looks like a terrorist war zone”, adding: “What's that place called, Aleppo?"

He branded Mr Sidhu's car the “sh*ttest on the team”, typed its registration into webuyanycar.com and told him they were only offering £100.

When another colleague asked Mr Sidhu how it felt to be the “only ethnic on the team”, Glynn Smith said: 'You will be the last ethnic if you are anything to go by'.

Stuart Smith would ask Mr Sidhu questions daily like 'Did you get much sausage last night?', 'How big is your sausage?' and 'Do you have sausages in Syria?'

He emailed the team saying: 'Siduko - 6 sausages a day does NOT keep the Doctor away'.

And he sent a picture of a Vaseline tub and two fingers, to which Glynn Smith said in front of the team: 'Kieran is definitely going to get f***ed the most'.

The tribunal rejected Stuart Smith's claim that the picture was a reference to "someone's head getting stuck in railings".

Mr Sidhu’s manager Matthew Rumsey showed “little interest” in his complaints of bullying and cared more about sales targets, the tribunal found.

Instead of helping Mr Sidhu, the tribunal found Mr Rumsey took clients off him and tried to force him out of the company “because he did not fit in with the team.”

Mr Rumsey left Exertis shortly after Mr Sidhu's departure.

After assessing Mr Sidhu, psychiatrist Dr Jonathan Ornstein concluded he has a “very low chance of recovery” and is “unlikely to be able to work again” after suffering lasting psychological damage.

In a statement, Exertis, which is owned by Dublin-based firm DCC plc, said Mr Sidhu's experience was a “unique case across a business of more than 1,800 employees.”

It added: “On this occasion it was clear that certain behaviours within a part of our business fell short of the standards we expect.”