British Teacher Accused of Sex With Pupil Exonerated

by Gopalan on  April 16, 2010 at 7:20 AM Medico Legal News   - G J E 4
 British Teacher Accused of Sex With Pupil Exonerated
A 25-year-old British trainee school teacher, accused of seducing a 16-year-old student, is now exonerated. A jury at the Liverpool Crown Court threw out the charges against her, and she walked free Thursday and said she was ecstatic at her vindication.

Her arrest last year predictably made screaming headlines.

"Hannah McIntyre, 24, has been suspended from her job at Merchant Taylors school, in Crosby, Merseyside.

The classics teacher was arrested and questioned by police last week on suspicion of abusing her position of trust. Social services are also investigating.

She has been granted bail while further inquiries are made."

Three students who visited her were plied with cider before one of them was seduced to bed. So said the reports.

But apparently it was she who was the vicitm. The court was told that McIntyre admitted buying cider for the boys from an off-licence. She later told the school's headmaster that three of his pupils had stayed the night in her flat.

During the school's investigation, the boys denied drinking alcohol or that anyone went to the teacher's bedroom. But the 16-year-old pupil told his mother in December 2008 that he had sex with McIntyre.

Four months after she started working at the £8,000-a-year school, the boy and two friends called at her home. The court heard that the boys had a history of taunting the teacher and had locked her in a cupboard, hiding her mobile phone on a high shelf where the she could not reach it.

That night, in January 2008, the boys thought that it would be "a laugh" to visit her because they were bored and had nothing else to do.

After knocking at Miss McIntyre's door they "barged" past the teacher, who was dressed in only her pyjamas, and riffled through her flat, poking fun at her possessions and mishandling a pet lizard after removing it from its cage.

Miss McIntyre told the jury that she immediately felt "overwhelmed" and "intimidated."

But she said that she believed she could manage the situation and that if she called for the police the boys would get in trouble with the school and make life in her classroom even more difficult.

She acknowledged that, at one point in the evening, she had bought them two bottles of cider, but only in the hope that they would then leave her alone. In the end she decided to go to bed, leaving the teenagers downstairs in her living room.

"At that point I did not have any of my colleagues' mobile phone numbers, I did not even know anybody in Liverpool because I had just moved here," she said.

"I went to bed because it was quite a big hint to get them to leave. By this point I was very anxious and bed seemed to be the best hiding place." Miss McIntyre said that one of the teenagers did follow her up to her bedroom but he did nothing more than poke her with his finger and make simulated sex noises before collapsing drunk on the floor. By this time she was hyperventilating (breathing abnormally fast).

When the teenager eventually made his allegations she had been given a mentor at the school and was becoming more confident as a teacher. Her career had been blossoming.

Miss McIntyre was described in court as a "shy" student teacher and an "easy target" for disruptive children.

Under cross-examination the teenager agreed that sixth formers at the school had given Miss McIntyre a "particularly hard time". He had attended several of her classes not because of any interest in Latin but to be disruptive, suggested the barrister.

Mary McKeone, for the defence, said that pupils would make jokes about her being Scottish, her middle name Trish and that she had a boyfriend called Richard who was "referred to as my Dick."

McIntyre said the stress of the trial meant she suffered from insomnia. She said: "Anger is not first among my thoughts right now. But he has, with no accountability, made an accusation and I would like to see him have to realise the impact he has had on me."

McIntyre, who was in her final year of teacher training, was vague about  her future and whether she would go  back into teaching. She said: "Right  now I don't think I would want to be in  the company of another school pupil  for the entirety of my life." 

Her mother Irene, an English  teacher, said she was "ecstatic,  delirious, happy and over-whelmed"  by the verdict.

She added: "Hannah has obviously  been foremost in our thoughts, but it  has been a difficult time for the whole  family.

"We have been trying to keep strong for Hannah and to keep strong for ourselves."

Source: Medindia

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