Beds, Herts & Bucks

Woburn Safari Park worker tribunal case settled

An ex-worker at Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire who claimed he was seen as a "troublemaker" has dropped his case for constructive dismissal.

Dr Paul O'Donoghue sued Bedford Estates after he left his job in December 2009 saying he was forced out after raising concerns about the park.

But an official from the Bedford Employment Tribunals Service confirmed the case had been settled.

Woburn Safari had rejected claims he had been forced out of his job.

Dr O'Donoghue, of Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, told a tribunal panel in March that he had not felt supported by his line manager "because he did not want me in my job".

'Disastrous consequences'

He told a tribunal panel the "last straw" came in November that year when he had believed an elephant would escape, and "it did in fact escape".

He told the panel in Bedford: "There could have been disastrous consequences for staff, visitors and myself, as a result of that escape."

A statement on Woburn Safari Park's website said: "The first tribunal in March was unable to reach a conclusion on whether there was grounds for a case.

"As a result of this, four more days had been set aside commencing on 20 June.

"In the intervening period, Paul O'Donoghue has decided not to pursue his action, this supports the firm defence that Woburn have made as a company against what we believed to be unfair accusations and criticism."

Dr O'Donoghue said he was unable to comment.

The park is owned by the Duke of Bedford and visited by more than 500,000 people a year.

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