Marine Scotland ‘whistleblower’ ‘taped to chair by colleagues’

‘Whistleblower’ who was ‘taped to a chair and gagged’ after complaining of racist and misogynistic work culture tells tribunal she ‘contacted Dignitas because the bullying got so bad’

  • DeeAnn Fitzpatrick claims colleagues taped her to a chair and gagged her  
  • She says that was followed by intimidating anonymous Valentine’s Day cards 
  • The Canadian national said she even contacted Dignitas euthanasia clinic 

An employee of a Scottish Government agency claims she contacted the Dignitas euthanasia clinic after co-workers taped her to a chair and gagged her.

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

The Canadian national says she faced daily racism, threatening behaviour and even jokes about her recent miscarriage from her male colleagues while working at Marine Scotland as a fisheries officer. 

She also alleged she was taped to a chair and gagged at the coastal preservation firm in 2010. 

The Canadian national alleged she was taped to a chair and gagged at the coastal preservation firm in 2010

Ms Fitzpatrick says she faced daily racism and misogyny at the agency – including jokes about a miscarriage 

The 49-year-old told a tribunal in Aberdeen today she was 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 told the tribunal.

The 49-year-old today told an employment tribunal that she even considered contacting a euthanasia clinic 


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‘When I first started getting the cards, it made me feel awful,’ she said. ‘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.’

The employee (pictured) says she was sent anonymous Valentine’s Day and birthday cards 

Dignitas provides assisted suicide to those who suffer from a terminal illness or 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.

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 the complaint was brought.

The tribunal heard there was a bad atmosphere in the office during the period. The tribunal continues. 

  • For confidential support in the UK, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see for details.

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