Canford School teacher Russell Woolwright said he will have to "rebuild his life" after facing crown court trial

Former public school teacher acquitted after allegations of sexual activity with student

Former public school teacher acquitted after allegations of sexual activity with student

First published in News
Last updated

A FORMER public school teacher has told of his frustration that his unblemished career has been left in tatters after he was cleared of sexual activity with a student.

Russell Woolwright, 30, spoke out after he was found not guilty of allegations of making the teenager perform a sex act on him during an encounter in an alleyway.

The economics teacher at the prestigious Canford School near Wimborne was forced to resign from the job of five years in the wake of the allegations.

He had met up with the girl after she pestered him with string of lewd emails. He said he told the girl to stop contacting him and twice backed away when she tried to kiss him.

After the police later learned of the email exchange between the pair, the girl “embellished” her version of events and claimed she carried out the sex act after he dropped his trousers in front of her.

A jury today took 90 minutes to find him not guilty of two counts of causing or inciting sexual activity with a girl as an adult in a position of trust.

Afterwards Mr Woolwright said: "It's a huge relief. I now feel I can go out again without being judged and I can get on with my life, which I’m having to rebuild from scratch.

"This trial has not only affected me but also my friends and family.”

Mr Woolwright said he would like to get back into teaching again and said: "I don't want this allegation to ruin my job at Canford and also my teaching career because I love it."

After receiving emails from the complainant in which she and a friend urged him to meet them in town, using sexually suggestive phrases, the teacher said he was angry and shocked but decided to meet with the girl to tell her to stop.

He flatly denied the girl's version of events when they were put to him by prosecutor David Bartlett during the trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.

Mr Woolwright is now working for a company that manufactures audio devices.

Comments (24)

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5:14pm Thu 21 Aug 14

homerjsimpson1979 says...

This poor guy has been dragged through the courts by some girls made up story!

This proves what a messed up Country we live in.. One girls false allegations has ruined a man's career as no matter how much he hopes to get his life back he will never be the same!

And what will happen to this stupid school girl? Absolutely nothing!! Wrong on so many levels!
This poor guy has been dragged through the courts by some girls made up story! This proves what a messed up Country we live in.. One girls false allegations has ruined a man's career as no matter how much he hopes to get his life back he will never be the same! And what will happen to this stupid school girl? Absolutely nothing!! Wrong on so many levels! homerjsimpson1979
  • Score: 127

5:47pm Thu 21 Aug 14

BigAlfromsunnyBournemouth says...

If it had been me I would have gone to the head teacher with the texts / emails immediately, this sort of thing has to be stopped before it builds a head of steam.
If it had been me I would have gone to the head teacher with the texts / emails immediately, this sort of thing has to be stopped before it builds a head of steam. BigAlfromsunnyBournemouth
  • Score: 51

6:08pm Thu 21 Aug 14

ryan_gazzan@hotmail.com says...

Publish her name - it's only fair and let her see how it feels to be humiliated in public.
Publish her name - it's only fair and let her see how it feels to be humiliated in public. ryan_gazzan@hotmail.com
  • Score: 89

6:41pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Ayles 10 says...

This just goes to prove that no-one's name should be published before being found guilty. This poor chap has probably had teaching career ruined thanks to his photo & story being plastered all over the newspapers & internet, yet the unnamed girl can go through life without a blemish.
This just goes to prove that no-one's name should be published before being found guilty. This poor chap has probably had teaching career ruined thanks to his photo & story being plastered all over the newspapers & internet, yet the unnamed girl can go through life without a blemish. Ayles 10
  • Score: 65

6:47pm Thu 21 Aug 14

mightyturbo says...

This is certainly an unfortunate story for the chap involved, but an entirely avoidable situation had he taken the right steps and followed protocol. It's no surprise he was dragged through the courts having taken matters into his own hands.
This is certainly an unfortunate story for the chap involved, but an entirely avoidable situation had he taken the right steps and followed protocol. It's no surprise he was dragged through the courts having taken matters into his own hands. mightyturbo
  • Score: 29

7:13pm Thu 21 Aug 14

fizzy fert says...

She's got over 400 friends on Facebook
She's got over 400 friends on Facebook fizzy fert
  • Score: -14

7:39pm Thu 21 Aug 14

mightyturbo says...

fizzy fert wrote:
She's got over 400 friends on Facebook
Relevant how?
[quote][p][bold]fizzy fert[/bold] wrote: She's got over 400 friends on Facebook[/p][/quote]Relevant how? mightyturbo
  • Score: 8

7:40pm Thu 21 Aug 14

High Treason says...

mightyturbo wrote:
This is certainly an unfortunate story for the chap involved, but an entirely avoidable situation had he taken the right steps and followed protocol. It's no surprise he was dragged through the courts having taken matters into his own hands.
He obviously knew it was unwise to meet up with her. He got himself into an avoidable situation which a more experienced teacher would have avoided by talking to other staff at the school. He bought much of this on himself.
[quote][p][bold]mightyturbo[/bold] wrote: This is certainly an unfortunate story for the chap involved, but an entirely avoidable situation had he taken the right steps and followed protocol. It's no surprise he was dragged through the courts having taken matters into his own hands.[/p][/quote]He obviously knew it was unwise to meet up with her. He got himself into an avoidable situation which a more experienced teacher would have avoided by talking to other staff at the school. He bought much of this on himself. High Treason
  • Score: 3

7:42pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Ayles 10 says...

mightyturbo wrote:
fizzy fert wrote:
She's got over 400 friends on Facebook
Relevant how?
Go on then, name & shame her!
[quote][p][bold]mightyturbo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]fizzy fert[/bold] wrote: She's got over 400 friends on Facebook[/p][/quote]Relevant how?[/p][/quote]Go on then, name & shame her! Ayles 10
  • Score: 25

8:02pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Sir Beachy-Head says...

fizzy fert wrote:
She's got over 400 friends on Facebook
I've got 560.
Mind you, I've never heard of any of them.
[quote][p][bold]fizzy fert[/bold] wrote: She's got over 400 friends on Facebook[/p][/quote]I've got 560. Mind you, I've never heard of any of them. Sir Beachy-Head
  • Score: 18

8:12pm Thu 21 Aug 14

fizzy fert says...

Sir Beachy-Head wrote:
fizzy fert wrote:
She's got over 400 friends on Facebook
I've got 560.
Mind you, I've never heard of any of them.
Your not friends with your friends
are you mental or what
she's popular on Facebook
unlike you
with real friends.
[quote][p][bold]Sir Beachy-Head[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]fizzy fert[/bold] wrote: She's got over 400 friends on Facebook[/p][/quote]I've got 560. Mind you, I've never heard of any of them.[/p][/quote]Your not friends with your friends are you mental or what she's popular on Facebook unlike you with real friends. fizzy fert
  • Score: -24

8:31pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Sir Beachy-Head says...

fizzy fert wrote:
Sir Beachy-Head wrote:
fizzy fert wrote:
She's got over 400 friends on Facebook
I've got 560.
Mind you, I've never heard of any of them.
Your not friends with your friends
are you mental or what
she's popular on Facebook
unlike you
with real friends.
Post a link to her page and I'll take a look nicky, I mean fizzy :-)
[quote][p][bold]fizzy fert[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sir Beachy-Head[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]fizzy fert[/bold] wrote: She's got over 400 friends on Facebook[/p][/quote]I've got 560. Mind you, I've never heard of any of them.[/p][/quote]Your not friends with your friends are you mental or what she's popular on Facebook unlike you with real friends.[/p][/quote]Post a link to her page and I'll take a look nicky, I mean fizzy :-) Sir Beachy-Head
  • Score: 13

8:48pm Thu 21 Aug 14

abc100 says...

Has the girl now said that she embellished her version?
Or was that what the jury deemed, because as we know the Jury get it right 100% of the time!!!!!
Has the girl now said that she embellished her version? Or was that what the jury deemed, because as we know the Jury get it right 100% of the time!!!!! abc100
  • Score: -9

9:09pm Thu 21 Aug 14

AmsterdamMan says...

Another CPS witchhunt
Another CPS witchhunt AmsterdamMan
  • Score: 4

9:34pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Sir Beachy-Head says...

abc100 wrote:
Has the girl now said that she embellished her version?
Or was that what the jury deemed, because as we know the Jury get it right 100% of the time!!!!!
You are quite correct. A jury wasn't actually there at the time when something did or did not happen. They just have 2 stories to go on, presented in different ways. They have to choose 1 to believe but it may be the wrong one, the right one, or a slightly twisted wrong one or right one.
Nobody knows what went on except for the 2 people involved. Juries cannot be relied on 100% of the time. 85% at best.
[quote][p][bold]abc100[/bold] wrote: Has the girl now said that she embellished her version? Or was that what the jury deemed, because as we know the Jury get it right 100% of the time!!!!![/p][/quote]You are quite correct. A jury wasn't actually there at the time when something did or did not happen. They just have 2 stories to go on, presented in different ways. They have to choose 1 to believe but it may be the wrong one, the right one, or a slightly twisted wrong one or right one. Nobody knows what went on except for the 2 people involved. Juries cannot be relied on 100% of the time. 85% at best. Sir Beachy-Head
  • Score: 8

9:36pm Thu 21 Aug 14

yet_another_one says...

homerjsimpson1979 wrote:
This poor guy has been dragged through the courts by some girls made up story!

This proves what a messed up Country we live in.. One girls false allegations has ruined a man's career as no matter how much he hopes to get his life back he will never be the same!

And what will happen to this stupid school girl? Absolutely nothing!! Wrong on so many levels!
The police & cps named this poor guy before trial & have, in effect, been allegedly complicit by blackening his name via the media who want to get their teeth into something that supposedly sells comics, some say newspapers - that being sensationalism.

The guy has been found not guilty in the law courts by a jury & should be offered significant compensation - I doubt that will happen but any cannot right all the wrongs that have been piled on him.

Not even an apology I see.

The girls who started all this should be named for what they really are - TARTS.
[quote][p][bold]homerjsimpson1979[/bold] wrote: This poor guy has been dragged through the courts by some girls made up story! This proves what a messed up Country we live in.. One girls false allegations has ruined a man's career as no matter how much he hopes to get his life back he will never be the same! And what will happen to this stupid school girl? Absolutely nothing!! Wrong on so many levels![/p][/quote]The police & cps named this poor guy before trial & have, in effect, been allegedly complicit by blackening his name via the media who want to get their teeth into something that supposedly sells comics, some say newspapers - that being sensationalism. The guy has been found not guilty in the law courts by a jury & should be offered significant compensation - I doubt that will happen but any cannot right all the wrongs that have been piled on him. Not even an apology I see. The girls who started all this should be named for what they really are - TARTS. yet_another_one
  • Score: 22

9:47pm Thu 21 Aug 14

abc100 says...

Sir Beachy-Head wrote:
abc100 wrote:
Has the girl now said that she embellished her version?
Or was that what the jury deemed, because as we know the Jury get it right 100% of the time!!!!!
You are quite correct. A jury wasn't actually there at the time when something did or did not happen. They just have 2 stories to go on, presented in different ways. They have to choose 1 to believe but it may be the wrong one, the right one, or a slightly twisted wrong one or right one.
Nobody knows what went on except for the 2 people involved. Juries cannot be relied on 100% of the time. 85% at best.
Not everyone found not guilty is innocent & not everyone found guilty has done what they are accused of
[quote][p][bold]Sir Beachy-Head[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]abc100[/bold] wrote: Has the girl now said that she embellished her version? Or was that what the jury deemed, because as we know the Jury get it right 100% of the time!!!!![/p][/quote]You are quite correct. A jury wasn't actually there at the time when something did or did not happen. They just have 2 stories to go on, presented in different ways. They have to choose 1 to believe but it may be the wrong one, the right one, or a slightly twisted wrong one or right one. Nobody knows what went on except for the 2 people involved. Juries cannot be relied on 100% of the time. 85% at best.[/p][/quote]Not everyone found not guilty is innocent & not everyone found guilty has done what they are accused of abc100
  • Score: 3

2:40am Fri 22 Aug 14

HRH of Boscombe says...

mightyturbo wrote:
fizzy fert wrote:
She's got over 400 friends on Facebook
Relevant how?
She's a tart! Do you really think she knows all 400 well?
.
It's a very good indicator that she's a tramp!
[quote][p][bold]mightyturbo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]fizzy fert[/bold] wrote: She's got over 400 friends on Facebook[/p][/quote]Relevant how?[/p][/quote]She's a tart! Do you really think she knows all 400 well? . It's a very good indicator that she's a tramp! HRH of Boscombe
  • Score: 1

7:13am Fri 22 Aug 14

S,Bowes says...

Sir Beachy-Head wrote:
fizzy fert wrote:
She's got over 400 friends on Facebook
I've got 560.
Mind you, I've never heard of any of them.
I ain't got enough yo play patients with,thankfully
[quote][p][bold]Sir Beachy-Head[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]fizzy fert[/bold] wrote: She's got over 400 friends on Facebook[/p][/quote]I've got 560. Mind you, I've never heard of any of them.[/p][/quote]I ain't got enough yo play patients with,thankfully S,Bowes
  • Score: 1

7:17am Fri 22 Aug 14

S,Bowes says...

ryan_gazzan@hotmail.
com
wrote:
Publish her name - it's only fair and let her see how it feels to be humiliated in public.
Lilo lilly
[quote][p][bold]ryan_gazzan@hotmail. com[/bold] wrote: Publish her name - it's only fair and let her see how it feels to be humiliated in public.[/p][/quote]Lilo lilly S,Bowes
  • Score: 5

8:26am Fri 22 Aug 14

RM says...

Unfortunately, he went the wrong way about dealing with the situation. He should have gone to his Head with the texts immediately.
Unfortunately, he went the wrong way about dealing with the situation. He should have gone to his Head with the texts immediately. RM
  • Score: 5

8:39am Fri 22 Aug 14

odorata says...

I know from experience,having been a police woman in the dark ages, that some young girls are capable of making-up such stories.
I know from experience,having been a police woman in the dark ages, that some young girls are capable of making-up such stories. odorata
  • Score: 12

10:30am Fri 22 Aug 14

muscliffman says...

Looking on the bright side he didn't have to prove he did not do this thirty or forty years ago! Neither was his current residence raided in a fully blown TV style production after the Police tipped off the media but did not mention it to the unarrested, uncharged, certainly unconvicted and legally innocent owner.

Don't name the accused or the accuser in these situations until after the Court has reached a conclusion - then of course name only the guilty. Or if the accusations are spurious and the accused is PROVEN innocent in law, then name and shame only the accuser - as should certainly now happen here.
Looking on the bright side he didn't have to prove he did not do this thirty or forty years ago! Neither was his current residence raided in a fully blown TV style production after the Police tipped off the media but did not mention it to the unarrested, uncharged, certainly unconvicted and legally innocent owner. Don't name the accused or the accuser in these situations until after the Court has reached a conclusion - then of course name only the guilty. Or if the accusations are spurious and the accused is PROVEN innocent in law, then name and shame only the accuser - as should certainly now happen here. muscliffman
  • Score: 9

8:13am Sun 24 Aug 14

Peroni says...

Some of these kids set out and even tell the teachers they will destroy their career by what ever means.
They try and film any out of order remarks or actions in class rooms.
I can't imagine a worse job to do now, constant awareness of actions and not being able to retaliate to accusations and end up with a wrecked career and future,in this day and age ,even a false accusation does severe permenant damage .
If the accuser gives false information ,I think they should be named and shamed ,but they know nothing will happen.
Some of these kids set out and even tell the teachers they will destroy their career by what ever means. They try and film any out of order remarks or actions in class rooms. I can't imagine a worse job to do now, constant awareness of actions and not being able to retaliate to accusations and end up with a wrecked career and future,in this day and age ,even a false accusation does severe permenant damage . If the accuser gives false information ,I think they should be named and shamed ,but they know nothing will happen. Peroni
  • Score: 0
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