A counsellor found to have been “unjustly” treated by her bosses, has revealed that her ordeal to clear her name was worse than cancer.

Sandra Goad, who battled breast cancer in 2001, was awarded £8,000 in damages by an employment tribunal in Leeds against her former employers, relationship counsellors Relate.

She resigned after 21 years with the organisation in Keighley over a false accusation that she breached a client’s confidentiality.

The tribunal exonerated her and said her treatment by Relate was “indefensible”.

Mrs Goad of Devonshire Street, Keighley, who spoke to the Telegraph & Argus after the hearing, said: “It was worse that having cancer to be found guilty by my employers of something I hadn’t done.

“I was devastated by how I was treated – my work was my whole self. The accusation was an attack on me ethically. I was shocked and traumatised and broke down because my name and professionalism was smeared and I could do nothing about it.”

She said it still hurt that an organisation whose goal was to bring justice and resolution to people’s lives, had failed to apply the same in her case.

Mrs Goad resigned from the organisation in 2009 following an 18-month internal investigation.

Although the probe exonerated her, she felt she could not continue because the complainant was not informed of the decision and she believed her reputation and integrity as a counsellor had been undermined.