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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 November 2006, 19:01 GMT
Teacher cleared in pupil sex case
Rebecca Poole
Rebecca Poole denied three charges of sexual activity with a child
A female teacher has been found not guilty of engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old pupil.

Rebecca Poole, 26, of May Lane, Hollywood, Worcestershire, was filmed performing a lewd act on the boy but had maintained she was forced to do so.

She was also accused at Birmingham Crown Court of having sex with the boy in her husband's Porsche.

The teacher was cleared of three charges of sexual activity with a child and also one count of abuse of trust.

Mrs Poole said during the trial the boy, who is now 17 and cannot be named for legal reasons, had held a screwdriver to her neck to force her to perform the sex act.

She was arrested in October last year after the boy's parents saw the video on his mobile phone.

I remember thinking 'I can't tell my husband' and thinking my career was over
Rebecca Poole

But the teacher said she was unaware he had filmed the encounter in the drama studio of the Birmingham school where she taught.

"I remember looking at his face and realising that he was so confident in what he was doing that I had no way out. I just couldn't get out," she told the jury.

The mother-of-one said she was "frightened, really really frightened" by the incident.

Referring to five previous incidents in which she had been groped by pupils and had informed her head teacher, Ms Poole said: "All the other incidents had been minor in comparison to this.

'No threats'

"I remember thinking 'I can't tell my husband' and thinking my career was over."

The teenager had earlier told the court he had asked her to perform the sex act and had leaned against the classroom door to ensure no-one could enter.

The boy denied he had invented the sexual encounters alleged to have occurred outside of school.

He also insisted that Mrs Poole had not been threatened during the incident at the school.

The incident is closed as far as Mrs Poole is concerned
Rebecca Poole's solicitor

After the case the Crown Prosecution Service said that as Mrs Poole had not made a formal complaint about the incident they had not pursued a prosecution against the teenager.

Fiona Warman, a partner at Mrs Poole's solicitors Williamson and Soden, said her client would not pursue any charges against the boy.

"The incident is closed as far as Mrs Poole is concerned.

"It is not that it did not happen, but closure is a very good thing for all parties."

Teaching unions have welcomed the outcome and added that is was cases like this that made teachers want to leave the profession.

National Union of Teachers' spokesman Bill Anderson also said teachers should be given anonymity in such cases.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
See Rebecca Poole celebrate her acquittal



SEE ALSO
Husband speaks up for sex teacher
14 Nov 06 |  West Midlands
Teacher 'forced to perform sex'
10 Nov 06 |  West Midlands
Teacher weeps as sex clip shown
08 Nov 06 |  West Midlands
Pupil describes sex with teacher
07 Nov 06 |  West Midlands
Pupil 'filmed sex with teacher'
06 Nov 06 |  West Midlands

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