Sunday 19 November 2017

Former prison officer who got €117k unfair dismissal payout is found guilty of assault

Zoe Crowe
Zoe Crowe

Ciaran Barnes

A former prison officer who won a £100,000 (€117,000) payout for unfair dismissal has been convicted of two counts of assault.

Zoe Crowe was found guilty after a contest at Belfast Magistrates’ Court last Friday. The 39-year-old from Knockleigh Drive in Greenisland will be sentenced on December 15.

She had denied assaulting Gary Jenkins on April 6 causing him actual bodily harm, and of unlawfully assaulting Amanda Waide on the same date.

Zoe hit the headlines in 2011 when she was sacked from her job at Maghaberry Prison on Christmas Eve.

Her dismissal, which was revealed in a courier delivered letter to her home, came after a Department of Justice investigation into alleged misconduct at the high-security jail. Her troubles first began in November 2011 when she was led out of Maghaberry Prison by security staff and suspended from duty.

Zoe later took a case with the Northern Ireland Civil Service Appeal Board (NICSAB) which found she had been the victim of unfair dismissal. In 2012 she was awarded a £100,000 compensation windfall that also took into consideration six months of lost pay.

Zoe Crowe
Zoe Crowe

The petite blonde was supported throughout the process by DUP peer Lord Morrow, who said: “This lady has been through a dreadful ordeal and the manner in which she was treated was appalling and degrading.”

Zoe is well known around south-east Antrim and comes from a big family based in the Rathcoole estate.

Pictures of her enjoying an eleventh night bonfire in the area feature on her Facebook page, as do sexy snaps of her dressed as a naughty schoolgirl and a bumblebee.

The former prison officer also has words of warning for anyone who crosses her, saying on social media: “I can be your best friend or your worst nightmare. Pick your words wisely.”

Belfast Telegraph

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