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Woman faces disciplinary hearing over 'gagging' photo

DeeAnn Fitzpatrick has been accused of lying about the circumstances behind the photo.

Fitzpatrick: Woman faces disciplinary hearing.
Fitzpatrick: Woman faces disciplinary hearing.

It was headline news around the world - a woman tied to a chair with a gag in her mouth as punishment for speaking out against misogyny in the workplace.

But now the woman at the heart of the story is facing a disciplinary hearing, accused of lying about the circumstances behind the photo. 

She has been charged with altering emails and submitting false documents.

DeeAnn Fitzpatrick, 50, said she'd become a target after raising concerns over another female colleague at Marine Scotland. 

The incidents were said to have taken place between 2015 and 2017 while she was based in the organisation's office in Scrabster, near Thurso and continued after she was signed off.

Speaking in 2018, DeeAnn Fitzpatrick said: "Its caused me to have nightmares. I don't sleep. I only go out of the house when I have to - an appointment or if i have to get groceries - but other than that I don't go anywhere. 

"Seeing that picture horrifies me. It brings back everything that was done to me."

STV News and the Herald On Sunday obtained documentary evidence challenging her claims and suggesting the image is not what it seems. 

The documents conclude the image was in fact taken a year earlier than claimed, during an office prank.

The documents also seem to clear the men she accused of gagging and taping her to the chair and state co-worker Reid Anderson suffered "shocking abuse" and threats as a result of her accusations that are now believed to be false.

In a statement, the Scottish Government said it couldn't discuss the "complex and sensitive" case but acknowledged that "all staff must be treated with dignity and respect".

If guilty of gross misconduct, Fitzpatrick could face dismissal. 

She could not be reached for comment.

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