A NIGHTSHIFT security guard at one of Scotland’s top visitor attractions allegedly used CCTV cameras to stalk a female co-worker and spied on members of the public.
James Tuff used the camera system at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, to spy on his victim and then radio her with lewd comments.
Tuff, believed to be in his 50s, eventually sexually assaulted cleaner Dora Alves inside the attraction, which pulls in over 500,000 visitors a year.
He was fined £500 and placed on the sex offenders’ register for three years.
The case has only come to light because Miss Alves, 26, is now taking Dynamic Earth to an employment tribunal, claiming sexual discrimination.
Dynamic Earth is contesting the claim that they failed to deal properly with the complaint.
Dora claimed at the hearing in Edinburgh that Tuff must have used the CCTV cameras to track her through the building as she did her cleaning job.
Portuguese Dora told the tribunal: “At first it was just the odd comment about my body, he would say things about me having a real woman’s body compared to Scottish women.
“But soon after he would appear out of no where when I was cleaning in the toilets.
“The cubicles are very small and I would only notice he was there when I would turn around and knock into him at the door.
“And when I cleaned the Biosphere where functions were held, I would often have to kneel or bend down to Hoover under the tables and suddenly he would be there.
“The only way he could know where I was would be to follow me on the cameras.”
‘I was terrified’
Dora, who has agreed to be named and photographed, told the tribunal she would listen to music while cleaning on night shifts.
“One time I was dancing around while I was polishing and he came on the radio saying he liked how I shook my bum, and told me to move my body more. I realised he was watching me. I was terrified.”
Dora said the final straw came as she walked to the canteen on her break and stopped to collect something from her locker.
She said: “Mr Tuff came out of his office and grabbed me from behind.
“He put one hand on my chest and used the other to pull me towards him.”
Tuff then rubbed himself against his distraught victim.
Dora claimed CCTV footage which could have proved the incident took place had gone missing.
In a dramatic outburst, Dora looked towards the Dynamic Earth team at the hearing and said: “I wish so much that the CCTV images had never disappeared because then you would know I’m no liar and no whore.”
Dora also alleges that Tuff called her into his office to show her CCTV videos he had saved of members of the public outside the building.
The first showed two girls kissing.
The other was of a young girl – who she guessed was about 16 – building a makeshift tent next to Dynamic Earth at night.
She said: “He asked me if I thought she was a lesbian and told me he thought I should go get her.
“He said he might invite her in for a cup of tea, and said he could take her home with him if he wanted to.”
Dora claims supervisors at Dynamic Earth knew that she was being harassed but took no action.
And she claims that management failed to take proper action after she reported the sexual assault.
Although Tuff was suspended, Dora claims she was not given any information about the case. And when she heard rumours he was returning to work, she reported the attack to the police.
The hearing was adjourned by Employment Judge Stewart Watt until the beginning of next month.
Tuff resigned from his post in June following his conviction.
He was not available for comment at his high-rise flat in the Moredunvale area of Edinburgh.
But in a statement he gave to Dynamic Earth at the time of the assault, which was read out the tribunal, he said: “I think this is a ploy by Miss Alves to get rich quick in soft Britain.
“She’s in the middle of an argument with her flat mate and wanted to buy her out.”
Dynamic Earth issued a statement, in which they said: “Dynamic Earth is currently involved in an employment tribunal case with a former member of staff.
“That case is actively ongoing and therefore Dynamic Earth is unable to comment on the case or any of the individual matters raised in the case.
“To do so would be to prejudice the case and any outcomes.”