‘Whistleblower’ claims she was gagged and taped to chair by men she accused of racism and misogyny

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
DeeAnn Fitzpatrick was pictured tied up and gagged after reportedly complaining about the men at her workplace (BBC)

A woman was allegedly tied up and gagged by her male colleagues after she complained about them to superiors at her company.

Canadian national DeeAnn Fitzpatrick was pictured with gaffer tape over her mouth and body as she was strapped to a chair while working at Marine Scotland.

The shocking photo is thought to have been taken by one of the perpetrators.

Miss Fitzpatrick, 48, said she was the victim of daily racism and misogyny from the men at the Government-run fishery in Scrabster, Thurso.

When she complained about how she had been tied up to one of her managers, she was apparently told that it was simply ‘boys being boys’, according to the BBC.

According to documents, the manager said he would have ‘a word’ with the men involved adding: ‘I am sure they meant no harm and that was the boys just being boys.’

Miss Fitzpatrick alleges that she was the victim of a campaign of intimidation for 10 years and she has now brought an employment tribunal case against the Scottish government, which is responsible for the fishing watchdog.

Despite the shocking nature of the picture, taken in 2010, it cannot be used as evidence because it happened three years before the case was brought.

Miss Fitzpatrick claims she faced daily racism and threatening behaviour (Facebook)

Miss Fitzpatrick’s sister-in-law Sherry Fitzpatrick said that the picture still needed to be made public.

She told the BBC: ‘We were horrified. We were sickened. We worry about what this has done to her.

‘She’s not giving up and now her family is behind her, and we’re not giving up until someone is made accountable for their actions.’

Labour MSP Rhoda Grant, who has been helping Miss Fitzpatrick in her case, added: ‘It’s horrific. I’m kind of speechless. It seems to me that it’s out of control.’

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The Scottish government said that it ‘does not comment on internal staffing matters’.

A spokesman added: ‘The Scottish government has clear standards of behaviour which apply to all staff.

‘Any concerns raised by staff are taken seriously and investigated fully.’

One of alleged attackers, named as Jody Paske by the BBC, said the claims were ‘false allegations’, adding: ‘If it did happen, it would have been office banter. Just a craic. Certainly nothing to do with abuse.’