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A teaching assistant who campaigned to change online dating laws after being ‘catfished’ by a fraudster on Tinder has been sacked from her job for ‘speaking out’.
Anna Rowe, 44, headed up a campaign to change legislation after she entered a 14-month relationship with a serial womaniser who used a slew of different profiles.
She proposed that those who ‘catfish’ are prosecuted for fraud, along with communication and sex offences.
But she has now been sacked from her job at Ethelbert Road Primary School in Faversham, Kent, and alleges that she was dismissed because the school did not like her discussing Tinder.
The mother-of-two said: ‘The irony is that the school has been running an anti-bullying campaign in which the message has been that children must speak up if they want things to change.
‘If you stay silent, then nothing happens.’
Despite not initially naming the school where she worked, Ms Rowe claims that she was told she was bringing it into disrepute when she spoke out initially in the media.
‘This really is null and void. There was nothing overtly sexual in the article’, she said.
‘I had to talk about what had happened to me as a vehicle to get the campaign to change the law moving. That is what all this is about.’
Ms Rowe was seduced on Tinder by a man calling himself ‘Antony Ray’, a high flying lawyer who visited her home twice a week for six months.
He claimed that he lived in London, had been divorced for 15 months and had three sons.
But despite repeatedly referring to Ms Rowe as ‘my wife’, he disappeared on their six month anniversary in 2016 – before a private investigator established that she had been ‘catfished.’
In reality, Antony was a top legal executive who was having a slew of affairs with women while he worked in London during the week – before returning home to the North on the weekend.
Now, Anna started a petition for a change in law which would require anyone with an online dating profile to use their legal name.
She said: ‘I am a victim of a catfish approach. Using a fake profile and online identity as a platform to lure women or men for sex should be illegal, but it’s not.’
Ethelbert Primary School and Kent County Council have refused to comment on Ms Rowe’s dismissal.