Errol’s grieving girl suspended

Errol Bennett
Errol Bennett
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A murder victim’s grieving daughter has been suspended for speaking out on Facebook about her dad’s vicious killing.

Mum-of-two Zoe Bennett, 35, who works for the Jamaican Tourist Board, faces a disciplinary probe over comments she made after her dad, Errol, was brutally murdered in a machete attack on the Caribbean island.

Zoe, who is pregnant, received an email from her employers calling her to a disciplinary hearing in London due to messages she had put online.

One of two messages she put on Facebook said: “The b******* have murdered my dad in Jamaica this morning. “My heartbeat, my life has gone.” A second message said: “My daddy RIP I will always love you. I will avenge you, mark my words.”

Mr Bennett, 59, was repeatedly attacked with a machete in his luxury villa in Portland, Jamaica, before Christmas.

A union official today described the suspension as one of the worst cases brought against an employee in 20 years.

Zoe’s brother Errol, 39, said the situation had added to his sister’s distress, by asking her to attend a disciplinary hearing two days after her dad’s funeral.

He said: “It’s despicable.

“They were bombarding her with demands for a retraction but the page is personal to her and nothing to do with them in the slightest.

“The added stress while she is seven months pregnant is terrible.

“She is off work at the moment and can’t return because she is so upset (about her dad’s death.)

“It’s a time in your life when you would expect support, not grief.”

Steve Davies, regional officer for the Unite union who is representing Zoe, said: “I have been representing people for 20 years, and this is one of the worst, if not the worst, case I have ever had from an employer.

“It took a while for it to sink in.

“Let alone what happened to her dad, they wanted her to go down to London two days after her father’s funeral.”

Hundreds of mourners from across the country attended Mr Bennett’s funeral at Deepdale Methodist Church on Wednesday.

He was born in Jamaica, but moved to Preston as a teenager, where he was known across the city for being chairman of the Jalgos Sports and Social Club and a talented cricket player.

But in recent years he had split his time between his Ribbleton home and a luxury villa in Hector’s River, Portland.

On December 17, he was repeatedly bludgeoned with a machete in his home.

His friend, Kerry-Ann Thompson, was also seriously injured.

Mr Bennett’s nephew Josephas Bennett, known as Clifton, has been named by police as the chief suspect.

Meanwhile, nobody has been arrested in Jamaica following the murder and Errol believes such cases are an increasing problem in the country.

He said: “Since 2010 there have been hundreds of Jamaican nationals returning who have been murdered.

“People out there think England and America is paved with gold. They expect money to be sent to you, and if you have something which they want, they expect to get it.

“It is very widespread but, unless you are Jamaican, you do not hear about it.”

A spokesman for the Jamaican Tourist Board, said: “Due to the highly confidential nature of what is an ongoing matter between employer and employee it would be wholly inappropriate for us to comment at this time.

“However, we wish to make clear that Ms Bennett continues to have our deepest sympathy and support.”