A former ticket inspector is facing a bleak start to the new year after he was fired by train bosses for having a tattoo on his neck.

Kevin Atkins

(Former employee Kevin Atkins) 

Kevin Atkins was left stunned when his manager at One railway told him the company was terminating his contract due to the partially visible tattoo of his birth sign - representing Pisces - on his neck. The news could not have come at a worse time for Kevin, whose girlfriend Ellie Peart has just given birth to a baby boy, Tommy.

Kevin, 27, who worked on the London Liverpool Street to Cambridge line for five months after leaving the Royal Navy earlier this year, said: “I feel absolutely gutted. Customers have never batted an eyelid about my tattoo. I had it done in the navy, so it’s not like it is new - I had it at my interview!

Kevin, who was awarded a medal for his service in Afghanistan and has also served in the Iraq and Sierra Leone conflicts, added: “Finding a job once you have left the forces is hard enough, so to be fired over something so petty is unbelievable.

Kevin, of Briars End, Witchford, near Ely, is now appealing against the decision after he was fired on Wednesday. His partner Ellie Peart, 36, said: “The way they have treated him is disgusting. He even tried to cover the tattoo with plasters, but he is allergic to them and they irritated his skin.”

In a letter to Kevin detailing his efforts to hide the tattoo, a One Railway manager said: “An oral warning, confirmed in writing, said that your continued performance was to be monitored and any reoccurrence regarding your presentation may result in formal discisplinary action. After careful consideration, regrettably, you have not reached the necessary standard and therefore your probationary employment is being terminated.

After being contacted by the News a One Railway spokesman said: “We can confirm that this employee’s contract has been terminated during his probationary period of employment because he failed to adhere to the standard of performance required for the role.

Do you think Keving should have been sacked? Share your views by adding a comment.