A trust chief executive has been accused of driving one of his managers out of her job after she rebuffed his sexual advances.

Colin Jones, chief executive of Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre trust in Oxford, allegedly leered at a female colleague's breasts and legs and subjected her to a series of crude sexual 'come ons', an employment tribunal in Reading heard last week.

The complaint of constructive dismissal and sexual harassment has been made against him by the trust's former disablement services manager, Shirley O'Hara.

Ms O'Hara now heads the private finance initiative for South East regional office, a role which means she advises trusts, including the Nuffield, on their development projects.

She told the tribunal she left her£34,600 a year job because Mr Jones became aggressive and critical of her work performance after she rejected him. Ms O'Hara, who joined the trust in August 1997, said he told her she didn't have the ability to take on the new role of director of project development which had arisen out a management restructure.

'I told him I had never been so insulted, but he said if I wasn't nice to him, he would ensure I had no job, ' Ms O'Hara told the tribunal.

She resigned on 17 May this year.

The first of many alleged incidents occurred at a retirement dinner for the trust's former medical director in March last year.

'On several occasions Colin Jones looked down my cleavage and kept trying to touch my hair. He told me he hadn't employed me for what I knew and he couldn't even understand my Scottish accent. I told him I was appointed by a panel and I turned my back on him in disgust, ' Ms O'Hara told the tribunal.

She described an incident in Mr Jones' office when he asked what Catholic girls were like in bed.

On another occasion, when he drove her to a meeting, Ms O'Hara said she found a metal screw lying on the passenger seat.

'I picked it up to avoid sitting on it. Colin Jones said he had never had a screw in the front seat of his car. I ignored his comments and spoke to him about the planned meeting for the rest of the journey.'

Mr Jones' solicitor, Raoul Downey, claimed that Ms O'Hara had never been subjected to sexual harassment and had consistently failed to meet deadlines.

The hearing continues.