An employee of a Scottish government agency has told an employment tribunal she considered taking her own life after bullying by co-workers.
DeeAnn Fitzpatrick said she experienced harassment after complaining of a racist and misogynistic culture at Marine Scotland.
In a hearing ahead of the tribunal the 49-year-old alleged she was taped to a chair and gagged by colleagues in 2010.
However, it is understood that 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 Canadian national told the tribunal in Aberdeen 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.”
She told the hearing that at one point she contacted a euthanasia clinic in Switzerland because she “had had enough”.
Ms Fitzpatrick told the tribunal she had worked for Marine Scotland 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 hearing continues.