Sacked teacher scarred by rape claim

A TEACHER who was investigated over an allegation that he raped a 16-year-old student in Suffolk today spoke for the first time of his ordeal.

Simon Tomlinson

A TEACHER who was investigated over an allegation that he raped a 16-year-old student in Suffolk today spoke for the first time of his ordeal.

Chris Taylor said his “world crumbled around him” when he was arrested at Farlingaye High School in Woodbridge in September last year over an alleged incident at the school prom in Ufford.

The 24-year-old, who lives in Ipswich, was suspended from the school and placed on bail during a seven-month police probe, which ended in April when he was told no charges would be brought against him.

Mr Taylor has now been sacked by the school which, he says, was for two separate incidents of misconduct and for not reporting advances from a student properly - charges he strongly denies.

The newly qualified teacher, who had only been at the school a year, today spoke of the day police arrived in his classroom.

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He said: “The police read me my rights and took me in for questioning. I was shocked and trying to work out what was going on.

“My world was crumbling around me. They said an incident had happened but there was no evidence to substantiate it.

“I believe the police and school had leapt on crumbs of evidence which didn't stick together. The story didn't stand up.”

The humanities teacher has criticised his employers for not supporting him and said he was kept in the dark during his exile.

He said: “There was a complete shutdown from the school as soon as I had been arrested. I was left to my own devices.

“My classroom was completely gutted and everything I owned and the name plaque on my door had gone. It was difficult to swallow.”

Mr Taylor was given new hope when his partner of eight years, Karen, showed her support by proposing to him.

She said: “Chris was really crushed by it all. We had planned to get married before, but I wanted to reassure him that I was going to be there for him.”

Mr Taylor added: “Everything was put on hold, but we are starting to plan the wedding now. We want to put on a big reception to pay back all our family and friends for their support.”

Mr Taylor has been provided with a reference from Farlingaye High School and he is free to continue teaching elsewhere, but he says he will take a break and do some temporary work while he gets his life back together.

He said: “It does leave a bitter taste. My career is finished. Mud does stick. Even though I love teaching, I don't think I could stand up in front of 30 kids again. I have to accept it and move on.”

Farlingaye High School and Suffolk County Council refused to comment on Mr Taylor's claims but issued a statement which said: “Following an internal investigation, Chris Taylor is no longer employed by Suffolk County Council.”

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