'I sent love letter to save boy', says cleared teacher
Teresa McKenzie said she was on a crusade to save the troubled boy's life
"Sweet love heart I hope you are well this morning I long to see you, such sweet anticipation makes my heart race.
"I won't be able to concentrate in the meeting thinking about your beautiful eyes, strawberry and cream hair....delicious lips...Lots of love Lol - I love you forever."
Teresa McKenzie, who then signed the letter off with 30 or so kisses, gave this note to a deeply disturbed 16-year-old pupil.
She had developed a very close working relationship with him while working at a Cheshire special school.
The mother-of-two, from Meifod, Powys, in mid Wales, told the BBC it was to "pull him back from the brink of suicide"
It was, however, one of the notes that helped support a series of spurious allegations from the teenager and resulted in her facing seven charges of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust at Chester Crown Court.
In light of the allegation of a sexual relationship a letter can be seen completely differently
It took less than an hour for a jury following an 11-day trial to unanimously clear her of all charges.
Serious accusations were put to her in court - the 16-year-old boy had alleged they had a 10-month relationship in which they had sex in the toilets of the British Library, in the back of a car and a London hotel.
However, none of this happened, but she did admit to Victoria Derbyshire on BBC Radio 5 live that the letters now made her "feel sick".
"Out of context, they do make me feel sick, there was no sexual intent and the language was not sexual," she said.
The mother-of-two got close to the young boy - known only as John - while working as an English teacher at the special needs school.
'Tools of the trade'
As he began to rely on her more and more she became his key worker.
John, who was a heroin addict at a very young age, who would not come into the classroom for four to five years, who would not communicate or trust anyone, had finally found someone he could "feel secure with".
"In November 2007, when I became his key worker, he told me about being suicidal for a long time and that he had taken an overdose and failed.
"I sought to get him special psychiatric help. It was when he came back to school after being excluded for breaking another pupil's nose that he told me he loved me."
Two months later she sent the first "love" letter, which she says was based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and a reading they had done the previous day.
Teacher Teresa McKenzie thanked the jury after being cleared of having a sexual relationship with a special needs pupil.
"I sent him this letter because there had been an unpleasant incident the day before. He had been rejected by me - he had tried to kiss me and I pushed him away and it resulted in a very angry scene.
"He went off and threatened suicide and so on.
"Overnight I didn't know whether he was going to survive so I wrote him the letter.
"The strawberry and cream hair related to descriptions of his shampoo that he used to describe himself.
"It was over the top and meant to make him laugh, but you can see how things can be taken out of context.
'Monstrous and deformed'
"In light of the allegation of a sexual relationship a letter can be seen completely differently," she said.
John, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, emotionally disturbed behaviour and oppositional defiant disorder, had only started to communicate after meeting her.
"He disclosed the awful abuse that he had experienced in his home life and was feeling monstrous and deformed.
"The sense of self-hatred that was going on at that time was enough to destroy himself.
"This was me [by writing the letters] trying to pull him back from the brink of suicide. I admit that is very powerful language when you are in that sort of environment as a teacher.
"In that context you are worried for a child's life you do a lot of things to help them.
"As a teacher you have very little power, you use the tools of your trade which in my instance was language."
However unorthodox the relationship might have seemed, the 16-year-old pupil did flourish and was able to go on to college and progress.
"He left his heroin, criminal ways, that child did survive two years with a caring teacher and was able to progress his life.
"The cost was those two letters, I understand that, but the bigger picture and the crusade I was on to save his was far more important to me."
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