Assault-case teacher: six months of anguish

Graham School Teacher William Stuart
Graham School Teacher William Stuart

A SCARBOROUGH teacher who was falsely accused of assaulting a pupil has told of his six-month ordeal.

William Stuart, 47, an assistant headteacher at the Graham-Raincliffe School, has also launched a campaign to change the law to protect fellow professionals who face similar accusations.

He believes teachers accused of assaulting students should remain anonymous until the charge is proven in a court of law.

Speaking on Mr Stuart’s behalf from the teacher’s family home in Stepney Road yesterday, his lawyer Nick Turner said: “It has been devastating.

“He has had six months of worry and anguish.

“This has been a real kick to his confidence. It should never have happened. It was a long, hard road, but he has been vindicated.”

Talking about the new campaign, Mr Turner added: “Having seen the anguish that the family have gone through I do think that it’s time for the government to change the law to grant anonymity to teachers facing such charges until conviction.”

Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill, who criticised the decision to prosecute Mr Stuart, immediately backed the campaign.

He said he hoped to arrange a meeting at Westminster between himself, Mr Stuart and Education Secretary Michael Gove to discuss the issue.

Mr Stuart was relaxing at home with his family yesterday, 24 hours after the case against him was dismissed by Scarborough magistrates.

He was also believed to have been in talks about how to drive forward changes in the law so that others do not experience the upset that he and his family faced.

Mr Turner, who said he was “elated” with Thursday’s verdict, said Mr Stuart was evaluating his options and had not yet decided whether to return to teaching.