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PUBLISHED: 06:18 08 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:17 24 February 2010

A CLACTON care worker lost her job as a result of witnessing an horrific stunt show death, it has been claimed.

Caroline Hill was left suffering from post traumatic stress disorder by the accident in August 2000 an employment tribunal was told today.

A CLACTON care worker lost her job as a result of witnessing an horrific stunt show death, it has been claimed.

Caroline Hill was left suffering from post traumatic stress disorder by the accident in August 2000 an employment tribunal was told today.

She was standing just feet away when a motorcycle failed to clear a line of people lying on the ground and landed on the commentator, killing him.

Miss Hill of Skelmersdale Road, Clacton, is claiming disability discrimination and unfair dismissal from Clacton Family Trust Ltd after she was sacked from their residential home in Pier Avenue, Clacton in February 2001.

The Trust is denying her claims which are being heard by an employment tribunal sitting in Bury St Edmunds.

When the hearing opened today, Miss Hill alleged that she had been dismissed after confiding in a manager that she had attempted to take her own life because she was so disturbed about what she had seen.

Miss Hill had been instructed to take a group of four residents, all with profound learning difficulties, to a motorcycle stunt show being staged at Clacton Football Club's ground on 9th August 2000.

When a stunt went wrong just ten feet from where she had been standing, Miss Hill said she was left badly shocked.

"This incident was horrific and violent and affected me deeply" she said.

She told the tribunal that on returning to the home, she had been refused time off by a manager despite being in a distressed state about what she and the residents had seen.

Her dismissal six months later for alleged gross misconduct had been wholly unfair, said Miss Hill.

"I believe that the evidence and psychiatric reports show that I was suffering from a disability" she said.

Traumatologist and psychotherapist Simon Brown-Lamont said he had been consulted by Miss Hill and by using internationally recognised diagnostic methods concluded that she was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

But that diagnosis was challenged by consultant psychiatrist Dr Martin Feekins who examined Miss Hill on behalf of the Trust. He said that while she may have been depressed or distressed, she was not suffering from any mental illness.

He added: "I also do not believe that she has a personality disorder".

Dr Feekins said that he had found Miss Hill to have a "childish demeanour".

Miss Hill told tribunal that she had not been able to work since losing her job with Clacton Family Trust Ltd and was still distressed about the fatal accident.

Tribunal chairman David Crome adjourned the hearing until next week when staff from the Trust will begin giving evidence to challenge the claims made by Miss Hill.


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