NEWS

15 Aug 2016

Richard Barraclough QC defends teacher against allegations of historic child sex offences from 1990’s

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Richard Barraclough QC, leading Stephen Betts, has just finished the defence of a teacher before the National College for Teaching and Leadership, charged with matters of the nature of historic sex arising mainly from a school trip in 1998.

The College, basing its decision on the civil standard of proof, heard evidence from the pupils who were by now adult and impressive witnesses but had to consider their characters at the age of 12 and 13 years. The case involved the tracing of teachers who had been on the trip and one in particular who has been teaching in Australia for the past 21 years. The teacher had been pursued with a number of inquiries over the past 15 years. He was found not to have acted for any sexual motive and was thus vindicated but not without considerable damage to his health.

Because this was an inquiry rather than a criminal trial the defence was able to put before the panel a medical report in relation to the impact of the accusation on his health and produce the interesting research by Carolyn Hoyle et al of University of Oxford Centre for Criminology “The Impact of Being Wrongly Accused of Abuse in Occupations of Trust: Victims voices” (2016)