UTS professor 'sent herself underwear'

·3-min read

A former Sydney university professor denied shredded her own clothing before sending herself "stolen underwear" along with a threatening note to maintain the school's support.

Under cross-examination in her second day in the witness box, Dianne Jolley denied destroying nearly $2000 worth of her own clothing.

The former dean of science also said she discovered a note left underneath a windscreen wiper on her car in large, bold black font reading: "I know where you live".

"I was horrified and then I was concerned for my (family's) safety," she told the District Court on Tuesday.

The Crown alleges she orchestrated the fake letter scam to gain support from other University of Technology board members in shutting down the traditional Chinese medicine course.

"That underwear was never stolen. You put that underwear in the letter didn't you?" crown prosecutor Roger Kimball said.

"No I did not," Jolley said.

"You wanted the support of UTS, that's why you did it."

"That's not correct."

Shortly after the incident, UTS spent more than $127,000 in security protection including CCTV cameras at her home and office, monitoring alarms and hire cars driving between home and work.

The university also gave her a voucher for the damaged and allegedly stolen clothes, the court was told.

The 51-year-old has pleaded not guilty to one charge of causing financial disadvantage by deception to her work, and 10 charges of conveying information likely to make a person fear for their safety, knowing that it was misleading.

On Monday the judge directed the jury to find the academic not guilty on nine more charges following a lack of evidence during the trial.

The prosecutor said she was pushing for a performance-based reward of $40,000, on top of her $320,000 yearly salary, by having one of the most financially unviable courses in the science faculty shut down.

Jolley denies this was her intention.

CCTV footage caught her "red-handed" writing one letter at work before printing it off and handing it to her assistant, the court was told.

"We have removed a dean before, we can do it again," the letter read.

"You do not belong here. You are not wanted here. Either leave or we will do it."

The evening before she wrote this letter, Jolley said she sat down and looked at her work contract, deciding to put her family first.

The ploy was to be "misconducted" by the university, knowing full well the video was taping her actions, so she could be removed from her job immediately, she said.

If she resigned she needed to give three months' notice.

But the Crown pointed out another way of immediate dismissal included not showing up to work for 10 consecutive days.

"You could have done that, couldn't you?" Mr Kimball said.

"Yes, but I chose not to," Jolley said.

"You chose to commit a serious breach of misconduct ... you're just making that up, aren't you?"

"No."

The trial continues.

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