Ex-colleagues were plagued by defamatory internet posts

Irena Ponomareva

Irena Ponomareva

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter, also covering Barton and Wood Farm. Call me on (01865) 425427

An “OBSESSIVE” computer expert has been warned she will go to jail unless she stops trolling her former colleagues in a five-year online hate campaign.

The High Court heard that web designer Irena Ponomareva lost her job with Milton Park-based firm SunGard Systems in 2008 and began a “cyberstalking” campaign in which she posted comments online about her former workmates’ sex lives.

Tim Lawson-Cruttenden, acting for the company, told the court on Wednesday that Ponomareva, who lives in Cambridge, lost a bid for compensation in an employment tribunal.

He said Ponomareva, who is in her early 40s, then used Facebook and a web page she designed to bombard her former colleagues with “highly defamatory and hurtful allegations” relating to their sex lives, along with “accusations of dishonesty”.

He said: “There were a series of disparaging emails and, by the summer of 2012, the employees of the company were being unpleasantly disturbed by the material being posted about them on the internet.

“You could describe this as a type of cyberstalking.”

The company obtained an injunction against the programmer, to protect its business and employees, in December 2012.

Mr Justice Griffith Williams gave Mrs Ponomareva until noon next Thursday to remove all offending material from her Facebook account and the web. If she fails to comply, she will face an application for an arrest warrant and an immediate three-month prison sentence.

He said: “She has wilfully embarked upon a campaign to cause as much trouble and upset as she can to her former employer and fellow employees.

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“She is certainly an obsessive. I am satisfied that the breaches are serious enough that there must be a custodial sentence.

“The victims have clearly been upset and alarmed by what has been said about them.”

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