A dental nurse has described the two years until she was cleared of poisoning a colleague as horrifying and traumatic.
Ravinder Kaur, 35, was accused of putting mercury into a mug of coffee before giving it to Laura Knowles, the manager at Shams Moopen Dental Practice in Shefford, back in March 2012.
But the case was dropped last week after two separate juries failed to reach a verdict.
Ravinder said: “I joined the practice in November 2011. They found me to be professional and meticulous and I did my job very to the book.
“When Laura was away she would leave me in charge because I was the most experienced one there.
“We had a professional working relationship and she was a friend.”
They took it in turns to make rounds of drinks, she said. Ravinder explained how she was about to start more training at college, for which Laura was to be her mentor.
But she reports becoming unpopular with fellow members of staff when she reported her concerns about the practice’s data protection to the Care Quality Commission a week before the alleged incident.
Ravinder, of Bedford, said: “There have been incriminating articles about me acting out of spite and revenge but this makes no sense. What motive would I have had?
“I’ve gone through a great ordeal for two years.
“I feel really emotionally traumatised by this. I’m scared to go out because people make comments; people look at me and judge me.
“I had a nervous breakdown and I ended up in hospital.
“I don’t know how I would have coped without the support of my friends and family and my legal team.”
The accusation has also been financially damaging. Ravinder has had to spend at least £5,000 on legal fees and she can no longer afford to run her car. She added: “It’s cost me my career and my liberty and my dignity and I haven’t even done anything wrong.
“I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”