Dianne Jolley was a professor at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in Sydney, Australia until her arrest in 2019, when she was charged with a number of crimes relating to her engaging to a ‘hate hoax.’ An Australian jury found her guilty on 10 counts of “conveying information likely to make a person fear for their safety, knowing that it was misleading,” and one count of “causing financial disadvantage by deception,” last week.
The former professor reported to local police that she received a series of threatening letters between May and November of 2019, including one containing a pair of her shredded underwear, in an apparent attempt to intimidate her. The first letter was reported on July 31, 2019; the university that employed her at the time, UTS, immediately spent approximately $127,000 in security measures to protect her – including CCTV cameras in her home and office as well as personal security detail.
Australian news outlet The Guardian, reported that some of the letters Jolley claimed to have received read as follows:
- “Goodbye, cya and good luck,” with her photograph and a red line drawn through her face.
- “Chop our future we chop yours”
- “China hating lesbian”
- “I watch you, I see what you do, your [sic] not safe and you know.”
Jolley also reported that several personal items had been stolen, including the pair of underwear that she later shredded and mailed to herself. Prosecutors pointed to evidence showing that her fingerprint was lifted off the “sticky-side” of the postage stamp used to send that package containing the underwear. Ironically, one of the CCTV cameras installed for her protection also provided crucial evidence used to convict her.
The prosecution claimed she was pushing for a performance-based reward of $40,000, on top of her $320,000 annual pay, by having one of the most financially nonviable courses in the faculty shut down – a course in traditional Chinese medicine.
Jolley admits drafting the final letter in November 2019 after she was caught on camera. She claims that was did this in an attempt to get UTS to fire her, saving the need for a three-month waiting period upon resignation. However, she maintains that all of the other letters, including the one containing her underwear (which has her fingerprint on the sticky-side of the stamp) were legitimate hate letters. The jury didn’t buy it. She is currently out on bail and awaiting sentencing. No date has been set for sentencing yet.