The tribunal heard that in 2019, his complaints had led senior RAF personnel to conclude he did not want to work with fellow legal officers and may have to be dismissed.
“[He] was largely oblivious to the disruption his complaints had caused,” the panel found.
“We do not find him malicious in this approach, just lacking a degree of insight as to the consequences on others of his [complaints],” it added. The panel said that as a result he “annoyed a number of colleagues”.
Steele applied to have his commission terminated, but senior members of the RAF did not want to let him resign and wanted to dismiss him instead.
The tribunal heard that in 2019, his complaints had led senior RAF personnel to conclude he did not want to work with fellow legal officers and may have to be dismissed
The tribunal concluded that Director of Legal Services, Air Vice Marshal Tamara Jennings, had “sabotaged” Steele’s career by deciding in July 2019 that he could not serve in the Legal Branch any more due to a breakdown in relations with other officers.
Steele successfully sued the MoD over his dismissal and following a 22-day hearing where he represented himself, is now due compensation.
Employment judge Gary Tobin said: “[He] was perceived as disruptive, and these senior officers effectively saw that it was one person at odds with 42 mainly senior officers.
“They believed that the interest of these 42 mainly senior officers ought to prevail against the interest (as they saw it) of [Wg Cdr Steele], irrespective of the harsh consequences on [him] of losing his job, his livelihood and his reputation.”