A community bobby who helped catch a suspected pervert was 'unfairly' sacked from his dream job after concerns over his notes caused the case to be dropped.
Antonio Zotti spotted a schoolgirl being molested at a bus stop in Mandeville Road, Northolt by a man who was also thought to have exposed himself at the nearby Swimarama pool.
The PCSO detained the man while he waited for another officer to arrive and called for backup. The suspect was arrested and charged with indecent assault.
But when the case arrived at Acton Magistrates' Court, prosecutors found discrepancies in two statements written by Mr Zotti which led them to abandon the trial.
The problem centred on the difference in the length of time Mr Zotti said it took his fellow PCSO to arrive on the scene - one account said 30 seconds, and the other between three and four minutes.
Mr Zotti, from North Acton, was suspended the day after the case collapsed and was sacked for gross misconduct following a disciplinary hearing.
Superintendent Ian Jenkins told an appeal panel over the phone that the 38-year-old was thought to have "gilded the lily" in his account of the incident, overstating the part he played in detaining the suspect.
But at an employment tribunal on Tuesday Mr Zotti claimed he had been unfairly dismissed from his dream job.
He said he was not trained to write formal statements, and was too focused on dealing with the incident at the busy bus stop on December 5, 2006 to make a mental note of timings.
"It was so packed with commuters and school children and there was so much going on that I wasn't looking at my watch," he said outside the tribunal.
He added: "I'm not only here for myself. There are many other PCSOs out there who are being made scapegoats and who are not being given the respect they are due.
"I lost my dream job and had to go on benefits, and I've been on the brink of losing everything. My life has been completely ruined, all for doing my job. I'm not here for any money; I just want to get reinstated."
Diana Marchant, who chaired the police appeal panel which upheld Mr Zotti's dismissal, told the tribunal the two PCSOs had not been asked to write the notes which caused the case to collapse.
She said: "They decided to do their own statements. There was nothing to suggest that they were either told or directed to write their own statements."
Dirk Van Heck, representing Mr Zotti, asked Miss Marchant: "Did you consider that this incident was an important piece of police work for PCSO Zotti? Did you consider that perhaps his mind was unlikely to be focused on timing?"
She agreed it was important work, but said the panel had not considered that issue specifically.
The tribunal's findings will be published at a later date.