A SMALL business owner has PTSD from going bankrupt – after a spiteful receptionist deleted hundreds of appointments in revenge for being fired.

Sam Pearce, the former director of a Yorkshire spa, has been traumatised by the "calculated and sustained attack" by a disgruntled ex-employee that forced the spa to close, a court heard.

Lauren Arafat, 30, sabotaged 211 bookings at The Potting Shed in Batley after she was dismissed on only her second day for "erratic" behaviour.

Leeds Crown Court heard how the "arrogant" and "self important" woman hacked into the spa's booking system just after leaving the building in June 2019.

She logged in from her iPhone and changed her profile to another employee's name to wreak havoc to the business' finances.

The court today labelled Lauren's revenge a "sophisticated" 30 minute cyber attack, even though she claimed to struggle with technology.

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The masses of cancellations devastated the spa and forced it to close.

Although staff members closed the spa for two days in order to call clients whose appointments had been cancelled, the business took a massive financial hit which forced it into insolvency.

Sam had built the business up for nine years before the chaotic attack and has been left traumatised.

She said in a victim statement she has suffered from PTSD from Lauren's stunt, which she called an "aggressive attack that breached privacy and her intention was to cause as much damage as possible."

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She added that since June 2019, she has felt unable to trust anyone in her "living nightmare" of insolvency.

Sam said: "She controlled my life remotely. I felt completely helpless.

"We tried everything at a personal financial cost to stay afloat, but it was a perfect storm forcing the business into insolvency and ultimately completely destroying the reputation, future plans and possibilities.

"We were served notice from our location. Absolute devastation ensued. The embarrassment and humiliation was unbearable."

Judge Simon Batiste addressed Lauren in Leeds Crown Court today.

He said: "You chose to hide your identity and put suspicion on another and were clearly motivated by revenge.

"I get the feeling from the pre-sentence report that you are a relatively arrogant person who puts yourself and your self-importance rather too highly."

Lauren was sentenced to a two year community order, 250 hours of unpaid work and has a five year restraining order against Sam.

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She also lost her law and teaching degree and the "letters after her name" because of the investigation.

She will also have to reapply to the apply to the Royal College of Occupational Therapists before starting her course again.

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