A TEACHER off sick on full pay for six years following a bizarre accident at work has been denied cash compensation - despite winning a claim for unfair dismissal.
An employment tribunal found that Anna Yerrakalva, from Sheffield, who taught at Dearne Carrfield Primary School in Bolton-on-Dearne, had made up the story about how she sustained her injuries.
Judge Stephen Shore said compensation would not be paid even though she had won her case that she’d been victimised on the grounds of her disability.
“Mrs Yerrakalva has told a series of lies and dissimilitudes that leave the credibility of her testimony in tatters,” he said.
The tribunal ruled the teacher had contributed to her own unfair dismissal ‘by a factor of 100 per cent’.
The 58-year-old widow claimed a teaching assistant had an epileptic fit in a classroom and fell on top of her, trapping her on the floor and leaving her with chest, neck and upper spine injuries.
But an investigation found that, although the assistant did have a fit, the teacher’s injuries were not sustained in the way she described.
The long-running case has cost Barnsley Council more than £300,000 in Mrs Yerrakalva’s wages and legal costs.
Mrs Yerrakalva was on £30,000 a year for six years from 2003 until she was suspended in 2009 and was finally sacked in January, 2010 for gross misconduct.
She briefly returned to work in April 2004 but she was then hit by a bus. The Sheffield hearing was told she also claimed disability and injury benefits saying she was severely disabled - yet at the same time she told the council she was perfectly fit to return to work.
But the panel decided Mrs Yerrakava’s grievances were not handled properly by the governors and the council had dragged its feet in trying to get her back to work.