NHS boss ‘sent poison pen letters’


Published: Tuesday 3rd March 2015 by The News Editor

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A senior NHS manager accused of sending poison pen letters to a female colleague after she spurned him would boast about his sexual prowess and eavesdrop on her conversations, a court has heard.

Karl Perryman, 52, was head of complaints and legal services at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, where he is accused of sending the “dark and spiteful” notes to junior colleague Joanne O’Neill.

The eight letters, which began in December 2012, were also sent to other managers along with Ms O’Neill’s then partner and her mother. They accused her of dressing “like a hooker”, “sleeping her way to the top” and having noisy sex on hospital time.

The letters began when Ms O’Neill began a relationship with the hospital’s deputy director of ICT Michael Brown, who she has since married. They purported to be from an anonymous Christian woman who wanted to put a stop to her supposedly deplorable conduct.

But in fact they were traced to Perryman who had earlier secured Ms O’Neill a job after allegedly becoming infatuated with her at a job interview, prosecutors told King’s Lynn Crown Court.

Giving evidence today, Ms O’Neill, who worked as complaints manager, told the court: “I would be called into his office with him boasting about his conquests, how important he was and how powerful he was.

“He would talk about my relationship and how odd it was.”

Asked by Susannah Stevens, cross examining, how he knew so much about her, she said she had never shared personal information with him, but knew he had access to her personal file and medical records.

“I believe he overhead conversations with my female colleagues and then passed comments about that,” she added.

Ms O’Nell claims Perryman offered her presents from high street jewellers Ernest Jones.

But asked whether they were close, she added: “I had a working relationship with him. I was professional with everybody in the office.”

She told the court that he reacted with “bravado” when told his behaviour may come out.

“He said nobody would believe me and if I told anybody he’d deny it and that he was cleverer than me,” Ms O’Neill said.

She described how she was originally turned down for a job in the department but Perryman later phoned her and, in a conversation lasting an hour and a half, said he would find her a role.

Opening the case, prosecutor Jude Durr said the letters all concerned ” rank, status, sex, lying, cheating, flirting, dressing inappropriately and reaping what you sow”.

He added: ” She felt genuinely frightened that she was being watched every time she attended a meeting or saw a colleague in the corridor. It was also affecting her home life.

“She didn’t at that stage have any idea who could be so vindictive and hateful.

“The invasion of her personal, professional and private life caused a real devastating fear of escalation.”

Perryman, from King’s Lynn, denies one count of stalking and another of intimidating a witness. He is currently suspended from his role.

The trial is due to conclude later this week.

Published: Tuesday 3rd March 2015 by The News Editor

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