A mother claiming to be a sexual health worker called two elite colleges in Dunedin in an attempt to ruin the reputation of a teenager who was competing with her daughter for a place at the schools.
The 53-year-old Queenstown woman applied on her daughter's behalf to St Hilda's Collegiate School and Columba College in the hope she would be accepted in before next year, the Queenstown District Court heard yesterday.
She knew of another Queenstown teenager applying for the Dunedin schools and admitted in court make the fake calls so the teen's reputation would be damaged, the Otago Daily Times reports.
"There is a very high demand for limited places at the schools and a board makes a final decision" at the end of the year, said Sargent Ian Collin.
"In an effort to have her daughter accepted ahead of the other student, the defendant made the fictitious phone calls to both St Hilda's and Columba College concerning the other student's behaviour and that of her parents," he said.
The mother called the principal of St Hilda's, Melissa Bell, claiming to be "Anne-Marie Thompson", a sexual health worker at the Oxford Clinic in Invercargill.
She told Ms Bell one of the students needed help with a treatment before going on to name the girl.
Half an hour later, she called the Richelle Manson, the boarding director at Columba College, introducing herself as "Anne-Marie Thompson", a nurse from the Queenstown Medical Centre.
She claimed the girl, who she named, had to make an appointment at the centre.
Later in the afternoon, she called the school a second time and told staff member Glenys McDowell the prospective student "had a sexually transmitted disease and that she was in a relationship with another girl".
Everyone phoned was sceptical and followed up the claims.
They found no one under the name of Anne-Marie Thompson working at either the clinic or the centre.
The woman has not yet been sentenced and is on bail until next month.
She faces two charges of using a telephone for a fictitious purpose and could face up to three months in prison or a $2000 fine.