A teacher who impersonated a pupil on Childline to falsely accuse a colleague of sexual assault has been handed a suspended sentence.
Sheena Boll, of Woodstock Road, Forest Gate, pretended to be a 14-year-old girl from the school she worked at in Newham to make the allegation in March last year.
Purporting to be a teenage girl, she falsely claimed she had been sexually assaulted and that the man showed a worrying level of personal interest in her to the point of her avoiding him.
A police investigation into the source of the Childline claims resulted in 35-year-old Boll being identified.
She was arrested in May and eventually admitted she had made the call herself. She was also sacked by the school.
Her former colleague, who is still working there, detailed the effect of Boll’s actions in a victim impact statement read out in court.
He said: “I found out that an anonymous call had been made to Childline naming me as a paedophile, in that I had groped the breast of a student.
“I just didn’t know what to do to convince people that I would never do anything like that to a child – the thought sickens and angers me.
“I felt sick to the stomach and found the whole experience really stressful.
“I felt like my reputation had been tarnished and I was really distressed and even depressed as a result. I care a lot about what people think of me and I love teaching and making a positive impact on young lives.”
During the course of the investigation, other colleagues at the school contradicted Boll’s claims and even praised the way the accused man interacted with his students.
Officers also discovered that mum-of-one Boll had a history of making numerous formal complaints to police, many of which she later withdrew after claiming she had come to a private resolution.
Boll was convicted of malicious communications at Thames Magistrates’ Court and sentenced to a prison term of 11 weeks, suspended for two years, on Tuesday last week.
She was also given 200 hours of community service and a 12 month supervision order, told to pay costs and compensation and placed under an overnight curfew with an electronic tag for a month.
Det Con Ben Land, from the Met’s Sexual Offences Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: “Cases of false claims like this are rare, but do enormous damage to individuals.
“This was a calculated attempt to deceive professionals who are committed to safeguarding the most vulnerable children into believing that this hardworking, dedicated and caring colleague in her school was responsible for abuse against one of their pupils.
“Fortunately Boll’s efforts to mask her true identity were unsuccessful and we have received a positive outcome with the conviction and restoration of the professional reputation of the victim.”