Former Derby City Council worker Jennifer Barkess escapes police action over her obscene e-mail
A DISGRUNTLED council employee – who left an e-mail telling people to "**** off" – has said her former employer was "foolish" for contacting the police about her messages.
Jennifer Barkess made the comment after Derbyshire police revealed she had not committed a criminal offence.
Ms Barkess, 64, left the city council after it turned down a voluntary redundancy application. The clerk typist said the final straw came when she was asked to do the work of two other people who had been allowed to leave.
She decided she would resign but, before she left, sent out an e-mail to "the global address book".
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Ms Barkess set up her out-of-office reply so it told people who responded: "No longer work for council, **** off the lot of you."
It is understood thousands of people received the e-mail, both at the council and elsewhere.
Ms Barkess said she walked out on January 10, and, when she got home, sent another mass e-mail, calling one member of staff "a lump of canine excrement".
Ms Barkess, who worked for the council for eight years, said she had since apologised to council chief executive Adam Wilkinson and regretted what she had done.
But she said the council had been "foolish" to contact the police about the messages. She said it was a "weight off my mind" that there would be no action.
A police spokeswoman said: "We looked at the incident and we do not believe a criminal offence has been committed. We have left it to the council to deal with."
Ms Barkess said: "I don't see what they can do now I've left. I did get a letter (from the council) asking me to agree to something I said in a meeting after I'd left but I didn't bother signing it and sending it back."
She added: "If I had committed an offence I think it would have been civil, not criminal."
Karen Jewel, council director of human resources and business support, had confirmed Ms Barkess was no longer working for the council and that the authority was investigating the matter.
Council leader Paul Bayliss previously said it was difficult to accept voluntary redundancies in its adults, health and housing department. He said: "In social care we haven't cut the budget. There's a requirement for people to deliver these services."