Tutor cleared of indecently assaulting boy
A married female tutor has spoken of her relief at being acquitted of seducing a 13-year-old boy and repeatedly having sex with him during lessons at his home.
A jury in the UK found Carolyn Keeling, 64, not guilty of six indecent assault charges following a three-day trial at Gloucester Crown Court.
The mother of two, who had an unblemished teaching career, was accused of having sex with the boy on at least 100 occasions between 1993 and 1996 while she tutored him.
The boy, who is now a father of three in his thirties battling a heroin addiction, made the allegations to his mother in 2012 after reading of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
He later reported it to police in April 2013 and an investigation began in to Mrs Keeling, of Taynton, near Gloucester, Gloucestershire.
Speaking after she was cleared, Mrs Keeling said: "I still can't believe it actually - I am so pleased.
"I am very grateful to the National Union of Teachers who were backing me financially and my ex-colleagues, friends and family who were backing me emotionally.
"These two years, two months and however many days have been very stressful and now I have a life that I can lead.
"It is with you every minute of every day and it just never goes away."
Mrs Keeling said that it was important that young people could still feel they would be listened to if they reported alleged abuse to the authorities.
"They must not lose their voice," she said.
"But there must be a way of doing more research as if the police had done this they would have known that I hadn't done it.
"I have had so much support with messages coming from pupils I have not taught for years, so there is always a good bit to come from bad."
When she was first arrested, Mrs Keeling told police: "He was just a nice lad. (I am) gobsmacked that he would do this. This is my worst nightmare."
Giving evidence, she rejected claims that she had smoked cannabis and drunk wine while teaching him and insisted she had not slept with him.
"He told me quite graphically about what he was doing, so it seemed appropriate to me to talk about contraception," she told the jury.
"It was so graphic and so informative - I was convinced he was telling the truth. He would ask and say things and I would say "Are you being careful?'"
Mrs Keeling also said she took the boy out on trips to Gloucester city centre, to the countryside and horse riding, and accepted she had not stopped him smoking cannabis at his home.
"He would smoke cannabis with his mother there, so I didn't have the confidence in telling him 'No you can't do that, come in and do some maths'," she said.