THE teacher accused of sexually assaulting a private school pupil has been found not guilty on all three counts.

Philip Mark Mulcahy, 58, was accused of indecently touching the pupil, aged between 12 and 14, almost a dozen times over two years at the Bournemouth Collegiate School. An allegation also relates to a school trip.

After a two-week trial at Bournemouth Crown Court and nearly five hours of deliberations on Friday, a 12-person jury unanimously found the father-of-three not guilty.

The jury also delivered a note to the prosecution, describing the investigation as “poor”.

The note, which was read by Judge Brian Forster QC, said: “The investigation seems to have been poor and we are unable to understand on what basis the Crown Prosecution Service brought the case.”

The judge said he'd pass it onto the the Chief Crown Prosecutor and the Chief Constable.

Mr Mulcahy thanked the jury as they left the courtroom while his family sobbed in the public gallery.

The defendant, who had been a teacher for 35 years, had previously told the court he put his faith in police to carry out a full investigation and that he had only been interviewed once by officers.

He also had to contact police himself for an update on the case, only to be told by DC Jo Shewbridge, officer in the case, he would hear from his solicitor.

Mr Mulcahy was alleged to make the student stay behind after class.
However, the 58-year-old categorically denied the allegations and couldn’t work out why he was being accused.

Giving evidence during the trial, he said it felt like his "whole world ended".

As previously reported, under cross-examination from defence counsel Mary Aspinall-Miles, DC Shrewbridge told jurors she didn’t check for CCTV or photos from the school trip.

A Dorset Police spokesperson said on Friday: "Dorset Police will await contact from Judge Forster QC and will take any action that is deemed necessary in due course."

On Saturday, the force sent an updated response: 

"Dorset Police takes allegations of this nature very seriously and we undertook a thorough and detailed investigation. This was reviewed by CPS, which determined it was appropriate to prosecute.

"We want to ensure that we provide an exceptional service to all and therefore we will always reflect on cases to identify any areas for learning and will undertake a review of this investigation if appropriate.

"We will await contact from Judge Forster QC and will take any action that is deemed necessary in due course."

NOTE: This article has been edited to include the updated response from Dorset Police.