Nearly 3,000 people have signed a petition demanding a binman gets his job back after he was sacked for decapitating a three-year-old boy’s snowman with a kung fu kick.
CCTV footage captured Callum Woodhouse, 19, kicking off the top of the 6ft-tall creation in Hereford while waiting for a bin to be emptied into the back of a refuse truck – before returning the bin to its spot on the pavement.
Sophie Taylor, 25, said her son Joseph, aged three, helped build the snowman on Saturday after an Arctic ice blast swept the country.
Herefordshire Council said it was ‘disappointed by the bin collector’s conduct and that he will not be brought back to work for them again.
But now more than 2,600 people have signed a petition calling on the council to ‘grow up’ and give Mr Woodhouse, who is about to become a father, his job back.
Callum Woodhouse (pictured above at Kingstone, Hereford) has hit back at Herefordshire Council and said that he feels ‘overwhelmed’ by how the action had such a ‘massive impact’
Joseph, aged three, pictured with the destroyed snowman. Sophie Taylor, 25, said her son helped build the 6ft-tall creation on Saturday
Some have even hit out at the three-year-old’s family and said they should be ‘ashamed of themselves’.
The petition’s description reads: ‘A binman from Hereford kicked down a snowman that was already melting anyway and after a video of it went viral he got sacked. Really?
‘The guy worked throughout the whole pandemic, risking his own wellbeing and that’s what he gets?! And for what a pile of snow… grow up and give the man his job back!
‘Might be you next, if you step in a puddle that might be that snowman’s passed cousin and you’re sacked! No income in times like this, shame on you!’
Now more than 2,600 people have signed a petition calling on the council to ‘grow up’ and give Mr Woodhouse, who is about to become a father, his job back
One person who signed the petition said: ‘Completely disproportionate to sack a worker because he kicks a lump of frozen water… Just speak to him, apologise to the homeowner and move on if that’s what it takes.’
Another said: ‘Give this poor guy his job back, baby on the way and put his life at risk working the entire pandemic.
‘He’s done nothing wrong, the customer isn’t always right. Upsetting seeing company’s disregard their employees just because a customer wants to complain about every little thing.’
Another accused the council of not caring about whether Mr Woodhouse would now be able to feed himself after losing his job. The person said: ‘Most petty excuse to fire someone I’ve ever seen, it would have melted anyway. Does the council not care about him being able to feed himself during a pandemic?’
CCTV footage captured Mr Woodhouse kicking off the top of the 6ft-tall creation in Hereford while waiting for a bin to be emptied into the back of a refuse truck
CCTV footage showed the decapitated snowman after Mr Woodhouse kicked it off
Others have turned on the young family. One said: ‘What an utterly ridiculous overreaction to fire a man for kicking over a snowman, especially in the middle of a pandemic. The family should be ashamed of themselves.’
Another said: ‘Absolutely pathetic him getting sacked for this, the mother who got him sacked should be ashamed of herself.’
The petition comes after Mr Woodhouse himself hit back at the council and said he feels ‘overwhelmed’ by how the action had such a ‘massive impact’.
He told LBC: ‘I’m overwhelmed by the fact kicking a snow man could have a massive impact on me, I felt like the snow man was obstructing my pathway to work, as a bin man we have an important role which the community rely on.
‘So to lose my job over kicking something that’s going to melt anyway is ridiculous. The snowman was in the way to put the bin back in the first place.’
Mr Woodhouse (pictured above) said: ‘To lose my job over kicking something that’s going to melt anyway is ridiculous. The snowman was in the way to put the bin back in the first place’
Speaking from his home in Kingstone, Herefordshire, Mr Woodhouse also said: ‘I’m the snowman killer, aren’t I.
‘I’ve apologised to the family. I messaged them on the day it blew up [on social media] but they blocked me.’
Asked what he felt about losing his job, he said: ‘It’s a hard time. It’s a pandemic.’
Woodhouse, who said he is about to become a father, added: ‘I’m out of work now, just for kicking a snowman.
‘I’m going to be a dad now. I’ve lost my job, f***ed over a snowman. I have a family to feed.’
Ms Taylor earlier told the Hereford Times that her son waves at the binmen while they collect his rubbish every week and then he ‘goes and does that in front of his face’.
The youngster’s creation lasted until Tuesday when Mr Woodhouse – an agency worker recruited to work for a council contractor – kicked its head off.
Mr Woodhouse pictured with the mother of his future child. The binman said that he will soon become a father and has been left with no income
It is not the first time Woodhouse has got in hot water for ‘kicking off’.
Last July he was slapped with a 12-month community order, 120 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £250 for attacking a barman and headbutting two police officers in a drunken rage.
A court heard he had been boozing on July 4 when the lockdown was eased on so-called ‘Super Saturday’ but was refused entry to a pub beer garden because he was so drunk.
After refusing to leave, Woodhouse grabbed a barman’s shirt and shoved him while shouting and swearing at other pub goers.
He left the pub but was stopped by police. Woodhouse then threatened to strangle an officer with his handcuffs in they tried to arrest him.
Officers called for emergency backup, and Woodhouse, who was trying to bang his head on the floor, was put in restraining belts.
While being taken to A&E by ambulance, he threatened police and headbutted one officer in the leg.
He headbutted another officer in the side of the head as he was taken away from the hospital.
Waste management company FCC said in a statement: ‘We were alerted to the incident by concerned residents and having reviewed the footage it was clear that the actions taken by this individual were not in keeping with the conduct expected of people representing our business or the council.
‘As the individual was employed through an agency, we requested that he did not return to work other than to hand the uniform back.
‘We believe this to be an appropriate measure given the nature of the incident.’
A Herefordshire Council spokesperson said: ‘The council was made aware of this incident and referred it to our waste collection contractor who employed the individual through an agency.
‘They have handled the matter according to their HR policies and have made the decision to request that he not return to work, as is their prerogative.’