THE principal of a school facing a £1 million repair bill after a fire has said she ‘broke down crying’ when the alleged arsonist turned up at school months before the incident.

Cath Green took over as UCAN principal in 2014, around three years after an investigation into an alleged school ‘paedophile ring’ first began.

The allegations were spearheaded by Philip Day, who is on trial for the arson attack on February 25 last year, as well as the stalking of Mrs Green and another member of staff – who cannot be named for legal reasons – in the months prior.

A jury at Chester Crown Court has heard that Mr Day, 55, uploaded a number of videos and posts to Facebook as part of a campaign to find the ‘truth’ about alleged sexual offences at the school.

No student has ever made an official police report about the supposed offences, but Mr Day said in his videos that the school, police, council and other bodies were involved in a ‘cover-up’.

On a number of occasions – including an open day in September 2017 – he filmed his videos at the school, naming Mrs Green and the other teacher and detailing his allegations against the school.

Mrs Green told the court: “He said he would come back to the school every day until he had the opportunity to confront me with the evidence he felt he wanted me to see.”

She added: “Mr Day had asked for a meeting and I had been advised by the police to tell him all information and concerns he had should go to the police.

“I was concerned for the children and staff. I had a duty of care. I was anxious for myself because I had been mentioned. I was worried. I was quite saddened.

“We had moved out of special measures and our results were the best in the school’s history. It was hard for everyone who worked really hard – we should have been celebrating but felt that we couldn’t.

“Meetings became daily, with the police, my senior staff, the trust, student assemblies. The campaign was relentless.”

Mrs Green said she and the teacher both had to be escorted to safe rooms when Mr Day turned up at an open evening, prompting a ‘lockdown’. Mrs Green said she ‘broke down crying’, fearing she couldn’t keep the school community safe.

The previous year, Mr Day had been charged with threatening to kill the other teacher. He was later cleared by a jury, and Mrs Green was questioned on how the concerns were handled.

The court heard that Mr Day made the threats indirectly, via a council safeguarding officer, and that he had initially called to report what he felt was fresh evidence of the UCAN ‘paedophile ring’, and demanding that the teacher be suspended. He never was.

Andrew McGuinness, asking questions in court on behalf of Mr Day who has chosen to represent himself, said to Mrs Green: “From a report of a possible sexual offence we now have the man who reported it being described as unstable and having an agenda.

“The tenor of these calls seem to have shifted from the teacher to Mr Day.”

Mrs Green said the defendant’s actions since his ‘threats to kill’ acquittal had caused her anxiety, fearing retribution from ‘resourceful’ Facebook users who had posted comments such as ‘I will get them for you’ on Mr Day’s videos.

A civil injunction served in October 2017 led to the campaign being removed from Facebook, and Mr Day blocked from attending UCAN.

Mr Day, of Saltash Close in Runcorn, also faces charges of burglary and arson at a house in Essex. He denies all charges. The trial continues.