The Herald reports:

A woman has admitted making calls claiming to be a sexual health worker in a bid to damage the reputation of a girl who was a rival to her daughter’s bid to study at two elite colleges.

The Queenstown 53-year-old appeared visibly shaken when she appeared on two charges in the Queenstown District Court yesterday. …

About 30 minutes later, she called Columba College boarding director Richelle Manson and identified herself as “Anne-Marie Thompson”, a nurse at the Queenstown Medical Centre.

She said she had to make an appointment for the prospective pupil, and named her.

She called the college again at 4.30pm, when she knew Ms Manson had finished for the day. She told staff member Glenys McDowell the prospective pupil “had a sexually transmitted disease and that she was in a lesbian relationship with another girl”.

All of the people phoned became suspicious. They found nobody named “Anne-Marie Thompson” working in either the clinic or the centre.

When police spoke to the defendant, she refused to make a statement and answered “no comment” to all questions, Mr Collin told the court.

Judge Phillips ordered a pre-sentencing report. “A psychiatric report will be of assistance.”

Apart from the intended victims of this behaviour, the one I also feel really sorry for is the daughter. Can you imagine how awful it would be to find out what your mother had done, let alone have it become public.

The reference to a psych report is interesting as I don’t think anyone rational would have done this. You would have to convince yourself that firstly knocking this one other girl out would mean your daughter got in, secondly that such a hoax would actually work, and also overlook how easy it is to trace phone calls.

When I was a university student this was a common prank at the hostel. Someone would ring the hostel and ask for a message to go on the noticeboard that so and so test results were back and they were positive. But never thought someone would try it as a serious hoax in real life.

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