Former Canford School teacher denies inciting sexual act

ACCUSED: Russell Woolwright arrives at Bournemouth Crown Court

ACCUSED: Russell Woolwright arrives at Bournemouth Crown Court

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A FORMER teacher at a prestigious private school caused a pupil to perform a sex act on him, a court heard yesterday.

Russell Woolwright, a teacher at Canford School at the time of the alleged offences, was said to have first kissed the girl and then encouraged her to touch him sexually in nearby Wimborne last winter.

The jury at Bournemouth Crown Court heard recordings of police interviews with the alleged victim, in which she said she had met Woolwright, who no longer teaches at the school, in the town by chance in October and they had chatted.

However, two weeks later she and a friend had sent the 30-year-old emails using their phones and the school’s email system, the hearing was told.

In the exchanges, they urged him to meet them in the town later on, and it was when they subsequently met up that the alleged offences occurred, the court heard.

“You might conclude the girls were leading the defendant on, that they were flirting with him,” said prosecutor David Bartlett to the jury.

“That does not excuse the defendant’s behaviour towards her as he was an adult.”

He said the complainant, in her first interview with police, had only made the allegation of kissing. The sex act was described in a second interview a month later, the hearing was told.

“She said she didn’t want to get the defendant into trouble as she liked him,” he said.

“When she found out the defendant had denied even doing that she decided to tell the whole truth.”

Opening his cross-examination of the complainant, Marcus Tregilgas-Davey asked why she had “initiated contact” with Mr Woolwright after their first meeting in the town.

“Because we were immature and thought it would be funny,” she said.

She confirmed she was attracted to the defendant on the second occasion they met. 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.

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