Zoe Gregory has pleaded guilty to unauthorised access to an email account and making a bomb hoax in court, in relation to an incident on February 8 2015.
Gregory has admitted to loging into a student’s email account and sending an email stating ‘There will be a bomb in school on Monday’ to her own work email account – which she then forwarded to the Principal Dr Dawn Allen because she ‘couldn’t face going to work.’
Student Holly Lichfield 16, and her friend Vicky Francis 15, were both arrested at their school, Ormiston Victory Academy in Norfolk, UK, and questioned at length about the threat. The homes of the two school-girls were also raided and the girls were held in custody for 10 hours.
According to the Prosecutor Lisa Britton, Lichfield and Francis had been left distressed by their ordeal and later teased at school by their peers for being ‘terrorists.’
Gregory was later arrested and sacked from her position at the school after the email’s IP address was traced to the home of her father.
Chris Brown, mitigating, said that the defendant had been ‘plagued by post-natal depression’ and acted out of ‘sheer desperation.’
Presiding magistrate Mrs Jeanne Heal has referred Gregory to Crown Court for sentencing saying “What makes this a worse offence is that two 16 year-old girls were in custody for 10 hours in prison cells and interviewed by the police. They were on bail for three weeks and it also affected their peer group relationships at school. It was a breach of trust both to the students and your employers. There was also planning involved because we heard you got hold of her login…We are not prepared to deal with this case and you need a greater punishment than we can give.”
The 26-year-old married mother of two is likely to receive a lengthy jail term.
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