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Monday, 11 February, 2002, 11:06 GMT
Amy Gehring interview in full
Amy Gehring, the supply teacher cleared of indecently assaulting two schoolboys, has admitted sleeping with a 16-year-old pupil at a previous school.
The 26-year-old Canadian was acquitted of three charges relating to the seduction of two schoolboys; the judge instructed the jury to clear her on a further two charges. On BBC Radio 4's Today programme she was asked if she had sex with two brothers who were her pupils:
Amy Gehring (AG): The prosecution were prosecuting me for specifically sexual intercourse with these boys and obviously I was acquitted and cleared of it.
I put myself into situations which I probably shouldn't have with the boys at parties because I became close to them - I was part of their group, not just the boys, I was friendly with the girls as well.
Sarah Montague (SM): But you did take the morning after pill?
AG: I did.
SM: So you must have thought you'd had sex?
AG: Well there was only the one boy, boy C, and that was count five which the judge ordered me to be acquitted for. That was due to the fact that there was no evidence that I was participating in this action and the fact that I was so completely drunk that I couldn't remember.
I just remember speaking to him. I do remember being in the toilet with him and talking to him. But it was the next day that one of the girls told me a rumour from the party that I had slept with him that I started to really worry.
I thought I can't remember this, I remember being in the toilet with him but there's no way I can remember this.
So I had texted him that morning and I said 'what happened last night, I heard a rumour that we had sex' and he texted back and he said 'yes, we had sex, I think'.
I said 'are you sure' and he goes 'I can't really remember' and I said 'well, you know that's not very good'.
It was not a phone conversation it was all through texting that day.
SM: This a 15-year-old boy you are talking about. It's not very good that he can't remember but you couldn't remember.
AG: I know looking back I feel quite stupid for all of the things that I did at that time.
SM: But the chances are, from the sounds of it, that you had sex with this 15-year-old boy in the toilet?
AG: Well the chance is that we could of but I can't remember doing it and I know that's what sounds really bad.
SM: Explain to us how it can happen that you are so drunk and you are at a party with 15-year-olds, you've possibly had sex with one of them in a toilet, you have no idea. What kind of environment is it that you get yourself into.
AG: Well, at the time, like I said, I was considered one of their friends. At that time, it was a hard time for me, it was a year since my break up with my long-term boyfriend. I was away from my family in a different country and I was lonely and what happened was I was spending most of my time with them. The parents were allowing me to stay at their houses. I became one of the kids basically.
SM: How many of them did you kiss?
AG: Well, it wasn't sexual kissing, it was three or four.
SM: Three or four of the boys you kissed? We're talking kissed on the lips?
AG: Well at the New Year's party everybody kissed everybody else. Of course when it's New Year's you give everybody else hugs and kisses.
SM: But you're the only teacher there and these are what, 14 and 15-year-olds?
AG: There were no 14-year-olds, it was 15, 16 and 17-year-olds at the New Year's party.
SM: Tell us, because as I understand you've admitted, you became almost obsessed with one of the boys, not the boy that you might have had sex with but another boy.
AG: It was suggested by the prosecution that I became obsessed with this boy. There was hardly any evidence that I actually had an obsessive relationship with this boy A anyway as I didn't speak with him that much. If I obsessed the way the prosecution made out why wouldn't I be calling all the time?
SM: But did you never think that it was wrong?
AG: Not until New Year's Day, the morning, when I heard from someone else that I had sex with someone and I couldn't remember. There was no way I wanted to be pregnant and if neither of us could remember I was going to do something so that I didn't have to be pregnant.
SM: But you're a teacher, you've got a degree. You're a very bright woman given all the records, you're clearly a bright woman. Yet it takes the point where you can't remember if you had sex and you might be pregnant before you think 'whoops, I've overstepped the mark'?
AG: I know. Like I say looking back I am quite embarrassed and ashamed of doing that.
SM: This school you were at, you were there because you had been removed from the previous school you were at that same term, the same Michaelmas term, the end of that year, you'd been removed from that because of inappropriate liaisons again.
AG: That's right.
SM: And you had sex with a 16-year-old boy there?
AG: I did.
SM: You were removed from the school, you have a warning. You know you have overstepped the mark then, surely?
AG: The police said to me that none of this would ever come up again and because there was no charges made and none of the boys had made formal complaints to the police in writing, that it would be removed from my record and there was nothing to be put on my record.
One of the charges there was no criminal conviction because it was someone over the age of consent and there was no allegation that I forced him to do anything. And the other boy who I was accused of kissing, he just didn't want to press charges.
SM: So, you thought 'fine, start again'?
AG: Well, I was quite scared and I didn't know what to do.
SM: So you are placed in different school and then you find yourself in the school where in fact you had the problems with the boys and the charges were brought. What was the environment in the school, did you make friends with the other teachers, were you looked after?
AG: The school was bigger than the schools I've taught in. The teachers were friendly but they were all doing their own thing. They were more concerned with doing their own thing.
SM: And how did the pupils treat you?
AG: Again I was a novelty. At first when I was there the boys were really sexually rude towards me. The girls saw this and they quite nasty towards me. And I just felt like the boys like me too much the girls hate me.
I didn't know what to do because 80% of my class was having to deal with this kind of thing. Of course they are going to act up when they don't have a teacher they don't see every day for that subject, a steady influx of supply teachers can't be easy for anybody.
SM: If you had a daughter, a 15-year-old daughter and she had a 26-year-old male teacher who had sex with her, how would you feel about that?
AG: Of course I'd be upset, I wouldn't want it to happen.
SM:Do you think it's less of a problem because you're a female, these are young boys rather than young girls?
AG:I think society probably doesn't think it's as bad maybe, but I think in a way these boys weren't stupid. They knew what they were doing. I know the law's there to protect children from criminal activity. They knew what they were doing.
SM: They're 15.
AG:Yeah, but I knew them. I knew how they were.
SM: What were you like at 15?
AG: Quite innocent.
AG:But I think there is a difference between when I was 15 at home in Canada and 15-year-olds today here. There's a big difference. At my first school there were 11-year-old kids that were telling me they were having sex.
SM: If you were a man you might have been charged with rape, as a woman you weren't. Given that and given the way the trial has gone, do you think you were lucky?
AG:No, because I didn't do it. I didn't have sex in an alley way, I didn't have sex in a toilet, I didn't have sex in a garden.
SM:You might have had sex in a toilet.
AG: With the last boy. But that was completely different. That boy and I we were...there was no.. we were friends. Well he's sold his story to some paper obviously, if he was so traumatised how could he rehash through all of it again and sell his story.
SM:So it's all over now, relieved?
AG:I am relieved, of course I am.
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