Woman ‘tied to chair at work’ contacted Dignitas over bullying

Fisheries officer DeeAnn Fitzpatrick was restrained by colleagues. Picture: BBC
Fisheries officer DeeAnn Fitzpatrick was restrained by colleagues. Picture: BBC
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An employee of a Scottish Government agency said she has become a recluse and once contacted the Dignitas clinic after bullying by co-workers, a tribunal has heard.

DeeAnn Fitzpatrick claims she experienced bullying and harassment after she complained of a racist and misogynistic culture while employed at Marine Scotland.

In a hearing ahead of the tribunal Ms Fitzpatrick alleged she was taped to a chair and gagged by colleagues in 2010.

READ MORE: ‘Whistleblower’ woman was ‘taped to chair and gagged by colleagues’

However, it is understood it is unable to consider the allegation as it was said to have taken place more than three years before the complaint was brought.

The 49-year-old Canadian national told the employment tribunal in Aberdeen on Wednesday she felt intimidated after being sent anonymous cards.

She said she suspected the cards, received on Valentines 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 told the tribunal.

She said: “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 who suffer from a terminal illness, severe physical or mental illnesses.

Ms Fitzpatrick told the tribunal she had worked for Marine Scotland, which oversees work in the country’s seas, since 2006.

The alleged abuse is said to have taken place while she was based in the government body’s Scrabster office in the Highlands and 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.

The tribunal continues.