She Claimed She Received Threatening Letters. Video Footage Showed She Sent Them To Herself.

A former professor in Australia was convicted on Thursday of sending herself threatening letters after claiming to be the victim of threats.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Dianne Jolley, 51, a former professor at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) was found guilty on “10 counts of conveying information she knew to be false or misleading to make a person fear for the safety of another” and one count “of causing financial disadvantage by deception.” A jury of 11 came to the decision after three days of deliberation.

Jolley claimed in 2019 that she received threatening messages, including some that contained photographs of her face and cut-up underwear. The alleged threats came after a traditional Chinese medicine course was cancelled at UTS. Jolley, as the science dean, said she received threatening messages due to the course closure, including ones that said “chop our future, we chop yours,” “I know where you live,” and “I watch you, I see what you do, you’re not safe,” according to the Herald.

Some of the threats were allegedly left at Jolley’s home, prompting UTS to spend $127,586.93 on security for the professor, including installing surveillance cameras at her home and office and employing guards at her home for two weeks.

That surveillance video caught her writing one of the letters to herself in her office. The footage at her home showed her “balling up one of the envelopes and throwing it at least eight times for her dog to fetch, despite being given evidence bags by police to preserve the letters,” the Herald reported.

A phone call between Jolley and her assistant in November 2019 was also intercepted by authorities. In it, she told her assistant: “As things have gone on through the year, I found it really hard … when support was disappearing I’ve made some bad judgment calls, and two of the letters that were sent, were sent from me.”

“I’ve been naughty twice but now I’m going to be accused of everything,” Jolley added.

In court, Jolley admitted to writing only one of the letters, saying she did so in an attempt to get fired because of the stress the alleged threats were causing.

In addition to the video footage, a card that had been sent to Jolley’s office that said “goodbye” on it contained a stamp. A fingerprint expert told the court that he had found Jolley’s fingerprint on the sticky side of the stamp. Jolley never opened that letter and claimed she never touched it.

“I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it. I don’t have an answer for it, but I didn’t do it,” Jolley testified at her trial. “I don’t know if it actually is my fingerprint, I don’t know.”

Other messages Jolley received included a photo of her face with a red line drawn across it, a letter claiming she had been poisoned, damaged clothing sent to her home, and a threatening note on her car. She also received cut-up underwear sent to her office.

Her defense attorney, Leah Rowan, asked what Jolley would have to gain from sending herself the messages, but Crown prosecutor Roger Kimball argued that she sent all of the messages to herself. Jolley was found guilty on all 11 charges, but was previously found not guilty of sending threatening messages to other UTS staff members.

She is no longer a professor at UTS.

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