Teacher accused of sexual activity tells court: “I told her emails were inappropriate”

TRIAL: Russell Woolwright

TRIAL: Russell Woolwright

First published in News by

A FORMER Canford School teacher accused of sexual activity with a pupil said she tried to kiss him but he pushed her away.

Russell Woolwright had encountered the girl in Wimborne after they exchanged emails using the school’s internal system on their mobile phones on two occasions in October last year.

Giving evidence at Bournemouth Crown Court, Woolwright, 30, said he was shocked when he received emails from the complainant in which she and a friend urged him to meet them in the town, using sexually suggestive phrases.

He said he and a fellow teacher at the prestigious private school met up with her and her friend later so he could tell her the emails were “inappropriate”, but she ignored this and tried to kiss him, forcing him to push her away.

“She tried to kiss me, I looked away and she kissed my cheek,” he said.

“I felt frustrated as I felt she had ignored what I previously said.”

Woolwright told the jury that he had left to return to the school immediately after this incident, but she had followed him up the road.

He also said that he twice had to stop to tell her that the emails were inappropriate before she set off for a friend’s house.

“I was just saying ‘why are you doing this’, it was a quick conversation,” he said.

Under cross-examination by prosecutor David Bartlett, Woolwright said: “I know I didn’t deal with this in the best way possible.”

“You got her to kiss you, got her to [perform a sex act on] you, in breach of your duty towards her,” said Mr Bartlett.

Woolwright said: “That is absolutely not true.”

Questioned by Marcus Tregilgas-Davey, representing Woolwright, Canford teacher Darren Long said the defendant had told him about the earlier emails he received from the alleged victim.

Shown the content of some of the messages from later in the day, Mr Long said had he known about them he would have advised Woolwright to avoid meeting up with the girls.

Woolwright, of Well Close, Bristol, denies two counts of causing or inciting sexual activity with a girl as an adult in a position of trust.

The trial continues.

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:22am Thu 21 Aug 14

60plus says...

Why didn't he report her to the head teacher it would have saved him a lot of hassle .
Why didn't he report her to the head teacher it would have saved him a lot of hassle . 60plus
  • Score: 6

4:50pm Thu 21 Aug 14

nothingtofear says...

Why have comments been opened on this story? Surely it is still sub judice.
Why have comments been opened on this story? Surely it is still sub judice. nothingtofear
  • Score: 3

1:07am Fri 22 Aug 14

Yankee1 says...

Why should a case in which a man's life is challenged not be open to comment?

There are two sides to every story out there. If one side is allowed to make public an accusation, then the other should be allowed to counter a response. (I accept that minors' names should be kept out of the public domain.)

Surely if it were 'sub judice' the whole case would be sealed, and we would know nothing about it, until its conclusion. After all, if we cannot comment, why should we be informed, until a conclusion is reached? Surely presumption of innocence implies a right of rebuttal and fairness of publicity?

Sure..that is fair? It will not affect the judgement. This is not for our 'entertainment'. It is damned serious stuff.
Why should a case in which a man's life is challenged not be open to comment? There are two sides to every story out there. If one side is allowed to make public an accusation, then the other should be allowed to counter a response. (I accept that minors' names should be kept out of the public domain.) Surely if it were 'sub judice' the whole case would be sealed, and we would know nothing about it, until its conclusion. After all, if we cannot comment, why should we be informed, until a conclusion is reached? Surely presumption of innocence implies a right of rebuttal and fairness of publicity? Sure..that is fair? It will not affect the judgement. This is not for our 'entertainment'. It is damned serious stuff. Yankee1
  • Score: 1
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree