- HR boss Helen Vulin allegedly berated staff in emails over a year-and-a-half
- She appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court and denied sending the emails
A human resources boss at one of the world’s largest accountancy firms compared a former colleague to Heinrich Himmler after she was sacked from her high-flying job, a court heard.
Helen Vulin is also accused of saying that she wanted Vladimir Putin to ‘wipe out Hampstead Heath’, where a number of employees of Grant Thornton, the company she worked for until losing her job, live.
In a series of emails, the 34-year-old allegedly berated staff in a year-and-a-half-long campaign and is said to have wished one known only as ‘Dave’ a ‘painful death’.
Vulin from Hillingdon, West London, denies one count of sending threatening emails and one of sending grossly offensive messages from January 2022 to June this year.
She worked as the head of HR for the transactions advisory division and as a business consultant for two years and seven months before losing her job in 2019 and joining rival firm EY.
In a series of emails, the 34-year-old allegedly berated staff in a year-and-a-half-long campaign and is said to have wished one known only as ‘Dave’ a ‘painful death’. Pictured: Helen arrives at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on September 21
General view of Grant Thornton’s Finsbury Square in London, where Helen Vulin worked
She appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday wearing a £265 scarf by Alexander McQueen – one of the Princess of Wales’s favourite labels – and carrying a £900 Chloe bag.
Aaron McCalister, prosecuting, said: ‘Essentially Miss Vulin was made redundant at Grant Thornton in 2019 as part of a business reshuffle.
‘From January 2022 onwards every month hundreds of emails were sent with threats in what has been described by the head of employee relations as vile communications.
‘The emails contained messages such as: ‘I will f*****g kill Dave. I want Dave to die a painful death in a concentration camp actually being tortured to death. Anyone on his side is on the side of Heinrich Himmler.’
‘Other messages sent include: “I hope Putin wipes out Hampstead Heath. I am going to get a gun licence in a few months Texas understands.”‘
Vulin denies sending these emails.
Her lawyer said: ‘The factual background may not be accepted, and these matters are contested.’ Vulin elected for a jury trial and will appear at Isleworth Crown Court on October 19 for a plea and trial preparation hearing.
If convicted, she could face a fine or a sentence of up to two years in prison.
Magistrate Jade Dalgreish granted her bail on the condition that she does not contact employees of Grant Thornton.
She said: ‘You have pleaded not guilty to these two charges today and you have elected to have the trial at the crown court.
‘You have heard this will be at Isleworth Crown Court. You are to attend on October 19 in the morning. You are on conditional bail.
‘You must not make contact with anyone employed by Grant Thornton and that means social media too.’
Grant Thornton is the world’s seventh largest accountancy firm with headquarters in Chicago.
It is considered one of the most prestigious companies in its field and handles the accounts of more than 40,000 businesses, with offices in London, India, Germany and Sweden.
The firm recently became a ‘big four lite’ accountancy company, meaning it is closing in on its biggest competitors –Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC.
Helen Vulin appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday wearing a £265 scarf by Alexander McQueen and carrying a £900 Chloe bag
Heinrich Himmler oversaw Nazi Germany’s genocidal programmes, administering death camps during World War II
A general view of Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London, Wednesday January 25, 2023
According to LinkedIn, Vulin is an HR boss with 15 years’ experience who qualified at Manchester University.
On her profile, she describes her role at Grant Thornton as being ‘team leadership with [a] focus on profitable growth’ and says that she was responsible for a client group including more than 1,000 employees, 50 partners and £100 million in revenue.
After leaving the company, Vulinjoined EY as a business consultant handling ‘large, multinational clients’ and worked there for around two-and-a-half years.
Her profile adds that she is currently on a ‘career-break’.
She told her LinkedIn followers that she is looking to ‘share inspiring, uplifting or thought-provoking pieces which might be of interest to my business network’.
Before working at Grant Thornton, she worked in HR for travel agency Thomas Cook and Reader’s Digest.
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