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Cafe boss and workers fined $335,000 over bullied waitress Brodie Panlock’s suicide

The cafe boss and three workers accused of relentlessly bullying 19-year-old waitress Brodie Panlock and driving her to commit suicide in 2006 were fined $335,000 by a court in Melbourne, Australia.

Workplace bullying victim Brodie Panlock

Nicholas Smallwood, 26, Rhys MacAlpine, 28, and Gabriel Toomey, 23, all pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of persons.  Cafe Vamp owner Marc Luis Da Cruz pleaded guilty to failing to provide a safe work environment.

The parents of Panlock, who are considering suing the four men, want the law changed to include jail sentences for workplace bullies.  Damian 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.”

During the trial, witnesses testified that Brodie Panlock endured constant harassment and a hostile work environment for more than a year while working at Cafe Vamp.  She was held down by coworkers, had fish oil poured all over her hair and clothes by Smallwood and MacAlpine, and she was repeatedly told she was fat, ugly, and worthless.  Panlock was teased about a previous suicide attempt, and coworkers left rat poison in her pay envelope.

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

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Cafe boss and workers fined $335,000 over bullied waitress Brodie Panlock’s suicide
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