King’s Lynn hospital boss tells jury: ‘I did not write poison pen letters’

GV of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital , King's Lynn ENGANL00120140502173025
GV of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital , King's Lynn ENGANL00120140502173025
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A senior executive at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital has denied writing a series of poison pen letters about a colleague.

Karl Perryman, 52, is currently on trial at Lynn’s Crown Court, having pleaded not guilty to charges of stalking and witness intimidation.

The court has previously heard that the case relates to a series a letters written about Joanne O’Neill, a hospital complaints manager.

During questioning by defence barrister Susannah Stevens on Wednesday morning, Perryman insisted he did not know who had written the letters.

Asked whether he had written them, he replied: “I absolutely did not write those letters.”

And, when asked if he had thought about who might have written them, he said: “I’ve thought about nothing else for two years.”

Perryman told the jury he had only become aware of the letters in January 2013 when an email about them was sent to a number of hospital staff, including himself.

And he maintained that he had “no idea” who would have created documents found on his computer and sent the letters.

The court has previously heard that the letters appeared to have been sent by a Christian woman working at the hospital who wanted to end the “deplorable conduct” of Ms O’Neill and the hospital’s deputy director of ICT, Michael Brown.

Perryman said he had spoken to Mr Brown about his relationship with Ms O’Neill on two occasions in October 2012, after hearing reports they had been seen “canoodling” in a corridor.

He said staff from the hospital’s human resources unit had previously spoken to him about rumours he had been having an affair with Ms O’Neill and warned Mr Brown that he did not want to have a similar discussion.

But he insisted that his only concern was how their conduct was seen by patients and other staff.

He said he had also sought mediation to resolve concerns he had about Ms O’Neill’s work, without success, and claimed his wife, who also worked at the hospital, thought it was “outrageous” that the problems had not been resolved.

The jury also heard evidence about the setting up of a Facebook account under the name Earnest Jones, which Ms O’Neill has claimed happened at around the time that she declined a necklace bought for her by Perryman from the Ernest Jones jewellery store.

Perryman admitted he had set up the account without a picture in order to prevent his wife or Ms O’Neill’s then partner from finding out about it.

But he maintained that he had merely been seeking to help Ms O’Neill resolve a row with her then partner, which had been triggered by her praising him.

He also claimed that his own personal Facebook account had been hacked to make it appear that he had left his job at the hospital, when that was not the case.

He said he had reported the matter to the police and sought information from both Facebook and Microsoft about it.

However, the court was told that neither company had complied with the requests, as they believe they operate outside the jurisdiction of the British courts.

The trial continues.