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French woman who posed as fake GP now found posing as fake teacher

Samantha Avril is now under psychiatric care and criminal investigation after she was discovered to be working as a teacher, and had worked as a GP, without any qualifications 

A photo of a doctor with crossed arms and a stethoscope

The woman (who posed as a GP and a teacher) has severe psychological problems, her lawyer has said Pic: lenetstan / Shutterstock

A woman in France who pretended to be a teacher had already pretended to be a doctor in the past, despite not having any qualifications for either position. She is now under criminal investigation. 

Samantha Avril, aged 38, was found to have posed as a doctor in 2020, despite not having any of the correct qualifications. She worked as a GP for four months in a health centre in Montceau-les-Mines (Saône-et-Loire, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté). 

She had gained access to the position by presenting a false diploma to the Conseil de l’Ordre. 

She had also falsely posed as a nurse a few years earlier.

Ms Avril has now been found to have been recruited as a contract CP and CE1 teacher in nearby Mâcon, again despite not having the correct qualifications, and her previous criminal conviction. She had been teaching since September 1 this year. 

Her real past was uncovered after parents of pupils found her background online. At the same time, the academic inspectorate found her criminal record.

One parent asked FranceInfo in disbelief: “How was the recruitment done?”

Ms Avril, who has psychiatric problems, is now being prosecuted for the illegal practice of a profession, for involuntary injury, and endangering the lives of others.

‘Psychological distress’

Her lawyer,  Maître Laurence Grenier-Guignard, told France 3 in an interview that her client Ms Avril was in “psychological distress and could not really explain her actions”.

Ms Grenier-Guignard said: “She is totally inexpressive, and is in a sort of questioning, introspective state. She doesn't know why she's doing this, she has no explanation.

“She feels the irrepressible need to present diplomas to work. She can’t explain it, but she feels that she can only get a job with a diploma. She doesn’t believe that presenting a simple CV could get her a job. 

“It’s as if she’s paralysed. She's very worried, and is expecting to go to prison. She is really not comfortable in her own skin. She doesn't have much self-esteem. She seems to me sad, and depressed. This state of depression is actually listed in her file.”

Ms Grenier-Guignard said that Ms Avril had been under psychiatric care since 2012, against a background of personal problems. 

“A diagnosis of schizophrenia had been mentioned, but this was finally ruled out,” the lawyer said. “The latest reports do not conclude that she is schizophrenic, even though she experiences auditory hallucinations."

Ms Grenier-Guignard said that she would “ask for further psychiatric expertise in the next few days” and that the next steps in the case should be confirmed within the next week.

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