Trainee teacher cleared by jury

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A trainee teacher accused of having sex with a sixth former has been cleared by a jury.

Hannah McIntyre, 25, was accused of seducing the 16-year-old boy after plying him with cider. But a jury has dismissed the youth’s claims and find her not guilty.

Miss McIntyre had worked at the £8,000-a-year Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School in Crosby, Merseyside, and was described in court as a shy student teacher and an easy target for disruptive children.

Within weeks of starting at the school, where Miss McIntyre taught A-level Latin and ancient Greek, she found herself unable to control some of the students in her classes.

The court was told a significant minority of the 16 and 17-year-old boys would mock her 5ft height and Scottish accent, giving her the nickname “Jock Dwarf”.

Four months after she started working there, the boy and two school friends called at her home. By that stage they had a history of taunting the teacher.

That night, in January 2008, the boys came to visit her because they were bored and had nothing else to do, the jury heard.

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

Miss McIntyre told the jury she felt “overwhelmed” and “intimidated”.

It was almost a year later, in December 2008, that one boy claimed that they had sex. This was shortly after he was suspended for a third time in six months for being disrespectful to female teachers and using violence against other pupils.

Miss McIntyre’s defence argued the allegations were invented by the youth, now an 18-year-old undergraduate, to gain sympathy from teaching staff and ensure he was able to continue with his A-levels and go to university.

In a statement, the school said: “Merchant Taylors' School notes the verdict of the court in finding Miss Hannah McIntyre not guilty, and are pleased that this long process has finally been brought to a conclusion.

“Miss McIntyre was dismissed from Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School in the autumn of 2009, although there is an appeal pending against this decision."

Miss McIntyre said: 'I had a job that I loved, that I do not have. I had a reputation which was good, which I do not have.

"I would like to see him prosecuted."

For more information:

Abuse allegations: a practical guide

School Leadership Today