Parents of bullied waitress Brodie Panlock considering suing four men accused of driving her to suicide

Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard Brodie Panlock endured more than a year of abuse, 12 hours a day, six days a week working at Cafe Vamp. She was held down by workmates, had fish oil poured in her bag, was drenched in chocolate sauce and was constantly told she was worthless. She was teased about a previous suicide attempt, and had rat poison left in her pay envelope. In September 2006, Brodie jumped from a building in Hawthorn and died days later.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au
February 9, 2010

Parents of bullied waitress Brodie Panlock considering suing four men accused of driving her to suicide
Padraic Murphy, Elissa Doherty

BrodiePanlock.jpg

Brodie Panlock Source: Herald Sun

Television coverage found here.

THE parents of a young waitress who killed herself after relentless workplace bullying are considering suing the four men accused of driving her to suicide.

Damian and Rae Panlock, whose 19-year-old daughter Brodie died after being bullied while working at the Cafe Vamp in Hawthorn, want the law changed after her boss, his company and three workmates escaped with heavy fines but no jail sentence.

Outside court Mrs Panlock walked up to chief tormentor Nicholas Smallwood, who had a sporadic intimate relationship with Brodie, and told him: "You're an ugly little man. I don't know what my daughter saw in you."

The Panlocks want the law changed to include jail sentences for workplace bullies.

"Worksafe did their best, and fines were the only option open to them (the courts), but in the end they're just fines," Mr Panlock said.

"None of them have shown any remorse, they'll just pay the fines and move on.

"We'll live with this for the rest of our lives, but they should have also been jailed to send a message so other young people won't be bullied and manipulated."

Smallwood, 26, and former workmates Rhys MacAlpine, 28, and Gabriel Toomey, 23, all pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of persons.

Cafe owner Marc Luis Da Cruz and his company MAP Foundation pleaded guilty to two charges, including failing to provide a safe work environment. During the tense sentence hearing, members of the Panlock family called the men cowards several times and later said the men were yet to apologise.

Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard Brodie Panlock endured more than a year of abuse, 12 hours a day, six days a week working at Cafe Vamp.

She was held down by workmates, had fish oil poured in her bag, was drenched in chocolate sauce and was constantly told she was worthless. She was teased about a previous suicide attempt, and had rat poison left in her pay envelope.

In September 2006, Brodie jumped from a building in Hawthorn and died days later.

MAP Foundation was fined $110,000 on each of two charges while Da Cruz was fined $30,000 total for two similar charges. Smallwood was fined $45,000, MacAlpine $30,000 and Toomey $10,000.

Rae Panlock described her daughter as a "beautiful girl who was full of compassion".

"She was my little ray of sunshine, a very pretty girl," she said. "As far as I'm concerned they drove her to the edge and they pushed her over - they should be in jail."

Mr Panlock said the family would soon decide whether to sue the men.

"We're told it will take something like three years and cost a truckload of money," Mr Panlock said.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/parents-of-bullied-waitress-brodie-panlock-considering-suing-four-men-accused-of-driving-her-to-suicide/story-e6frf7jo-1225828046129#


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