herald

Saturday 25 November 2017

Therapist who reported porn files on computer was suspended

A PSYCHOTHERAPIST in a Dublin hospital who found hundreds of images of adolescent porn on her computer was suspended after she reported her findings to her bosses, a tribunal has heard.

Ellen Browne, of Wesley Lawns, Dundrum, took the constructive dismissal case against Abraham Low Self Help Systems, an organisation based at Cherry Orchard Hospital which helps people with mental health issues and relies on HSE funding and contributions.

An employment appeal tribunal heard how on February 25, 2009, Ms Browne was doing her work as normal on the computer when she hit the mouse and found a lot of files which contained pornography.

It was alleged there were 10 to 12 pages of adolescent pornography. The office was manned by her and another person who worked from home or came into the office some evenings. A third person did not use the office but could access the computer from home.

The tribunal heard he was involved in IT and had provided the computer and no password was needed.

It also heard Ms Browne was shocked at the content, and reported it to two HSE members.







Computer

When asked what she wanted to do about it she said she wanted the computer removed.

Following further efforts to have the computer removed, including ringing head office in Chicago, she was suspended.

An external company was employed to investigate the events. The tribunal heard she had two complaints, the pornography on her computer and the behaviour of the person who suspended her.

The investigation concluded and a report was issued in September 2009, but Ms Browne's solicitor wrote to the organisation rejecting the report as offering no solutions to the issue. She did not go back to work as she felt the images and her suspension had never been addressed.

In its determination, the tribunal found Ms Browne worked in a very sensitive area with adolescents, and "the fact that she was left suspended for such a length of time without explanation, coupled with the nature of the investigation, undoubtedly damaged her reputation".

It found no grounds existed to justify Ms Browne's suspension, and awarded her €15,000.

hnews@herald.ie

Promoted articles

Entertainment News