Headteacher’s horror at poison pen letters from school caretaker

Jan Tyson, Turnfurlong Infant School headteacher
Jan Tyson, Turnfurlong Infant School headteacher

A headteacher has spoken of her shock at discovering that a spate of poison pen letters were sent to her by a caretaker living on her school’s site.

Jan Tyson, head teacher at Turnfurlong Infant School in Aylesbury, received three bizarre letters last year.

One contained abusive allegations of poor practice at the school and another called for her to ‘retire before you are fired’.

But perhaps the most disturbing note, which was delivered to Jan’s home address, contained false information that a woman was having an affair with her husband.

Jan contacted police who launched a investigation and then charged neighbouring Turnfurlong Junior School’s caretaker Damien O’Flynn with sending the letters. He pleaded guilty and received a fine and 125 hours of community service earlier this year.

But Jan says it has been hard to come to terms with the fact that the letters were sent by someone so close to the school.

She said: “Parents have been very supportive over this and I’ve had bouquets of flowers and things from people who have heard about it – it hasn’t affected the children at all.

“My husband hasn’t been well so this has added pressure.

“All of the letters had the address glued on the front, and when I saw the letter at my house I thought it couldn’t possibly be one of those letters.

“When I opened it and I read it with my husband sat next to me I said ‘what do you make of this’ I didn’t doubt him for a second but it was upsetting.”

And Jan, who says that she has no idea why O’Flynn, who has never approached her in person, sent the letters, has welcomed news that he is leaving the junior school next week.

She said: “When I got the letter from the court saying what the sentence was, I realised that the bail conditions had been lifted and a restraining order was no longer in force. The police came to talk to staff, I felt anxious because he wasn’t anonymous anymore and he was so close by.”