An east London teacher, with a habit of making false complaints to police, rang Childline and impersonated a pupil to falsely accuse a colleague of sexual assault.
The helpline received a call in March last year purportedly from a 14-year-old girl at the Newham school where she worked. The girl said the teacher had sexually assaulted her and she felt uncomfortable in his presence. The police traced the call straight to 35-year-old mother-of-one Sheena Boll.
At Thames Magistrates Court she pleaded guilty to one count of making malicious communications and was handed an 11-week suspended sentence.
She was ordered to serve 200 hours of community service and pay costs and compensation to her victim. She was sacked from the school.
During the investigation, colleagues had rallied behind the teacher who was the subject of the speculation. They praised the quality of his teaching and his relationships with students.
He told the court of the devastating impact of Boll’s accusations.
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.”
Detectives uncovered Boll’s decade-long habit of making formal complaints to police against colleagues and other employees. She tended to withdraw the grievance, telling officers she had resolved the matter privately.
Claims are rare
Det Con Ben Land 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 hard-working, 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.”