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Obsessed teacher sacked for stalking gay male colleague'

PUBLISHED: 17:21 19 November 2008 | UPDATED: 09:59 12 August 2010

Fuat Akyuz / KNP / 01622 755133. Picture Desk 01622 755887.   

7th Nov 2008. A TEACHER stalked a colleague at an

Fuat Akyuz / KNP / 01622 755133. Picture Desk 01622 755887. 7th Nov 2008. A TEACHER stalked a colleague at an "outstanding" school by looking up his address on the electoral roll and bombarding him with unwanted love letters, an employment tribunal heard. Obsessed Helen Vipond continued to pester German teacher Jamie Meharg - who was eventually given police protection during the two year ordeal, it was said. Pictured Helen Vipond arriving at the tribunal (see KNP copy)

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A BISEXUAL 62-year-old teacher sacked after allegedly harassing a male colleague with love letters refused to believe he was gay despite his claims to the contrary. Teachers said Greta Vipond would stalk around Darrick Wood School, in Lovibonds Avenue

A BISEXUAL 62-year-old teacher sacked after allegedly harassing a male colleague with love letters refused to believe he was gay despite his claims to the contrary.

Teachers said Greta Vipond would "stalk" around Darrick Wood School, in Lovibonds Avenue, Orpington, looking for German teacher Jamie Meharg, 42, until he eventually sought police protection.

But Vipond, who was head of cover before she was sacked last October, is seeking compensation from the school claiming unfair dismissal and discrimination, Ashford Tribunal heard.

She told the Judge last Thursday: "I did not believe that he was homosexual. I thought he was bisexual. He presented himself to me as a hot-blooded heterosexual.

"There may have been some confusion in my mind."

The former travel agent from Farnborough, who had 57 recorded absences, said the school were looking for any reason to fire her after she allegedly caught a colleague drinking before school and because of her "malingering".

She said: "From early January when I was extremely ill with a chest infection, it occasioned nine days off. From that point onwards and from the point when I came upon my colleague in a compromising situation they were looking for any reason to sack me.

"Because of the bullying and the unlawful discrimination, my health suffered."

Other members of staff hatched plans to avoid leaving Mr Meharg alone in a classroom and made up telephone calls to 'rescue' him from conversations with Mrs Vipond, it was claimed.

A statement read out from foreign languages teacher, Ros Honeysett, said: "In September 2006, on my return to school Mrs Vipond seemed obsessed with regards to Jamie Meharg and appeared to be stalking him around the school. We agreed not to leave him in his classroom alone for long periods of time."

It is alleged that Vipond said she could feel him stroking her cheek even when he wasn't in the room and claimed she could have telepathic conversations with him.

She said they were in a consensual relationship which she believed would end in marriage.

Judge Mr Salter said: "Apart from a meeting at Sainsbury's delicatessen, there is little evidence that you were conducting a relationship outside of the school.

"Most people if they love one another and plan to get married, the relationship would manifest itself in meetings and holidays.

"You can see that it might look odd that you didn't know where he lived? How many people do you know who are in a permanent loving relationship who do not know the other's telephone number?

"How many do you know that when they call their partner disguise their voice? How many do you know who think meeting in a classroom is a date? Do you not see that from outside this might have been seen as unusual? That this was a relationship in your mind and not reality?"

Mrs Vipond replied: "No."

The case continues.

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