Death in paradise daughter wins unfair dismissal case

Happier times: Zoe Bennnet with dad Errol and brother Errol Jnr
Happier times: Zoe Bennnet with dad Errol and brother Errol Jnr
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A grieving daughter, fired for an outburst on social media about the murder of her father, has won her case for unfair dismissal.

Zoe Bennett, whose dad Errol from Preston was hacked to death during a holiday in the Caribbean in 2011, has been awarded a five-figure sum in compensation from the Jamaican Tourist Board.

The hearing in London ruled the Board, where Zoe worked as a marketing rep in the UK, had been wrong to sack her for remarks she made on Facebook and in the Lancashire Evening Post in the days after her father was killed.

“I’m delighted to win the case because I can now put it behind me and concentrate on getting justice for my dad,” she said. “It was ludicrous right from the word go.”

Zoe posted three separate messages on the social media site - the first of them on the day she learned her dad had been hacked to death in a bungled robbery at his holiday home in Portland. In it she pledged to avenge his death and said: “My heartbeat, my life, is gone.”

In the second she criticised the Jamaican police for being “slow in their uptake” on the investigation. And in the third she announced she was flying out to Jamaica, even though her own life had been threatened.

Zoe was critical of the speed of the police investigation in interviews with the LEP and a national newspaper. She was later sacked for “gross misconduct.”

“I still can’t believe what I did was seen as misconduct,” she added. “I suppose they felt what I said was detrimental to Jamaica.”

Her cousin Clifton Bennett, 33, was arrested nine months after the murder and, after several adjournments, is due to stand trial on November 25.