THE FATHER of murdered student Amanda Duffy has launched a legal action claiming he was unfairly dismissed by a charity he ran to help victims' families.

Joe Duffy, 65, was sacked from his post with Petal (People Experiencing Trauma and Loss), an organisation that helps people affected by murder or suicide, amid claims of aggression and issues surrounding the charity's finances.

An employment tribunal in Glasgow heard that Mr Duffy, of Hamilton, used his own companies to provide services to Petal, including water cooler provision and electrical supplies.

The case follows a tribunal by another worker from the charity, Ann Marie Cocozza, who claims she tried to kill herself after being bullied by Mr Duffy.

She claims she was wrongly sacked after disclosing information about Mr Duffy.

A decision in that case, which took place last month, is expected in due course.

Mr Duffy's tribunal yesterday heard from Petal director Lesley Carmody who said the project leader was dismissed from his post in July last year following a disciplinary hearing.

She said an investigation was launched following an office bust-up between Mr Duffy and director Ann Gardner, who claimed he had spoken to her in an "aggressive manner".

Ms Carmody said: "We decided that we needed to investigate these allegations further and we agreed that we would need to suspend Mr Duffy when they were looked at."

She added that the probe then raised further questions and a number of issues linked to finances at Petal came to the surface.

"When Mr Duffy was suspended a number of other issues were brought to light during that time," she said.

"It came to our knowledge that a self-employed therapist, Jean Lamont, who we paid by the hour, was selling vouchers on Petal premises and treating clients that were not Petal clients on Petal premises.

"She informed us it had been authorised by Mr Duffy and she said that everyone knew. There was also an issue with water coolers.

"It transpired that water dispensers on the premises were provided by Mr Duffy and Petal were paying a monthly fee to him for them and for the maintenance of them.

"It transpired that the account that the money was paid into was in the name of Joe and Kate Duffy.

"There was also a company called Speedlamps owned by Mr Duffy which provided light bulbs and batteries that were purchased by Petal.

"I was aware that we were buying these but I wasn't aware that this was Mr Duffy's company."

The tribunal continues.

Mr Duffy's daughter Amanda was killed 23 years ago in Hamilton.

Last month it emerged prosecutors at the Crown Office in Edinburgh have applied to the High Court for permission to raise a new indictment against Francis Auld, the man who walked free from her murder trial.