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.