Former university dean Dianne Jolley may find herself behind bars on Friday after a judge sentences her over a fake letter campaign.
The former University of Technology Sydney professor was found guilty in July of 10 charges of conveying information likely to make a person fear for their safety, knowing that it was misleading.
The 51-year-old academic was also found guilty on one charge of causing financial disadvantage by deception to her work after UTS spent more than $127,000 in security measures protecting her.
Prosecutor Roger Kimbal invited the judge to impose a full-time custodial sentence while her defence said an appropriate penalty could be a community corrections order and fines.
For months Jolley pretended to find alarming notes, one reading: “Goodbye, cya and good luck,” with her photograph and a red line drawn through her face.
Another read: “Chop our future we chop yours”.
The elaborate ploy between May and November 2019 included shredding nearly $2000 worth of her own clothing, and sending herself underwear.
Her employer racked up an expensive bill providing CCTV cameras installed in her home and office, monitoring alarms, private security chaperoning her around the university, and hire cars driving between home and work.
She gave evidence she had deliberately been caught writing the final letter so that UTS would dismiss her, saving her a three-month notice period if she resigned.
But she denied sending all the other threats, telling the court at one point she had been left “horrified and then I was concerned for my (family’s) safety”.
The crown case was she orchestrated the scheme to garner sympathy from the science faculty as she tried to close down the university’s traditional Chinese medicine course.
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 faculty shut down.
Judge Ian Bourke previously said that it was a “very unusual sentencing exercise I am required to carry out”.
He is due to deliver his sentence on Friday morning.