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Parent smeared head of school
A HEADTEACHER was repeatedly harassed by a parent of a pupil, who even spread false rumours that he had sexually abused her daughter.
The headteacher, Phil Jackson, described the effects of the harassment as worse than finding out he had cancer.
Teresa Hughes sent a handwritten letter to Mr Jackson, headteacher of Lyppard Grange Primary School in Warndon Villages, Worcester, before bombarding the school’s phone with messages. Worcester Magistrates Court was told the harassment started when Hughes’s daughter asked to speak to Mr Jackson.
Leslie Ashton, prosecuting, said it started when the girl asked to speak to Mr Jackson before school started on Tuesday, June 11 last year.
She said: “Mr Jackson was in the school playground welcoming students into the school when the girl approached him saying she wanted to speak to him and he said he would find her later and she went off. Then Teresa came up to him two minutes later, raised both her arms in the air, and then walked away.”
Later that day, a letter arrived for the headteacher, who had been at the school since 2009, which stated Hughes, of Peabody Avenue, felt used. He was described as finding it confusing and showed it to the deputy head who contacted the authorities and alerted the school governors.
Two days later, there was a meeting held by staff and governors at the school, in Ankerage Green, who sent a reply to the 39-year-old.
On Friday, June 14, a number of messages were left on the school’s phone - some were stating her daughter would not be returning to school, some accused the school of wanting her child to leave, and another was described as being incoherent, before a final message which said she had spoken to her daughter who did not want to leave the school and they would be returning as they did not want to let them “get away with it”.
Mr Rogers has a daughter in the same class as Hughes’ daughter and saw her outside of the Tesco superstore.
“She said ‘don’t tell anyone but Mr Jackson has been suspended’ and when he asked why, she whispered, ‘for touching’.
“These were malicious unfounded allegations against the teacher that have had an affect on him. The allegations have caused him such a huge amount of stress that he likened it to when he was diagnosed with cancer,” Ms Ashton added.
In mitigation, Mark Lister said this was an unusual offence and Hughes had a good character.
He said: “Something was going on in Teresa Hughes’ mind during that time.”
Judy Hulland, chairman of the magistrates at Worcester Magistrates Court, where Hughes appeared on Monday, March 10, adjourned the case for pre-sentence reports to be collected until a sentence hearing on Monday, March 31.
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