A woman who claims she was taped to a chair by male colleagues at a Scottish Government agency told a tribunal she has become a recluse because of the bullying and harassment she suffered.
DeeAnn Fitzpatrick said she experienced a racist and misogynistic culture while working for Marine Scotland, and once contacted the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.
In a hearing ahead of the tribunal she said she was taped to a chair and gagged by two male colleagues in 2010. A shocking photograph of the alleged incident emerged last month.
However, it is understood the tribunal is unable to consider the allegation as it was said to have taken place more than three years before a complaint was brought. Despite this, Ms Fitzpatrick’s family released the picture saying it needed to be seen.
Ms Fitzpatrick, 49, said in the earlier preliminary hearing that the incident happened during years of bullying at the agency’s Scrabster office in the north of Scotland, and was a warning to her to keep quiet.
The Canadian national told the first full day of the tribunal on Wednesday that she felt intimidated after being sent anonymous cards.
She said she suspected the cards, received on Valentine’s Day and her birthday every year between 2015 and 2017, were sent by colleagues.
A message in one called her an “old troll” and another warned her about trying to “climb the ladder of success”.
She added: “When I first started getting the cards, it made me feel awful. But as they continued, yes it’s affected my self-esteem.
“It’s actually made me become a recluse, I stay at home, I have gone more into myself. With everything going on, I contacted Dignitas in Switzerland. I had enough.”
Dignitas provides assisted suicide to those suffering from a terminal illness, severe physical or mental illnesses.
Ms Fitzpatrick told the tribunal she had worked for Marine Scotland, which acts as the watchdog for the fisheries and aquaculture industries, since 2006.
The alleged abuse is said to have taken place while she was based in Scrabster and to have continued after she was signed off.
She alleged two colleagues – Derek Yule and Reid Anderson – were responsible for sending the cards. The tribunal heard there was a bad atmosphere in the office during the period.
Ms Fitzpatrick denied sending herself the cards to create “false claims” about colleagues.
Andrew Gibson, representing Scottish ministers, put it to her there were a number of people in the community who did not like her and they could have sent the cards, or they could have been created by herself.
He said: “We just don’t know who sent the cards to you. You may have sent the cards to yourself to try and make false claims about Mr Yule or your colleagues.”
She replied that it was “not a possibility” for her to have sent them. Both men deny sending the cards.
The hearing continues.
Article Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/13/woman-claims-bullying-bad-scottish-government-agency-contacted/