Teacher cleared of sex offence with girl

A TEACHER at a Suffolk boarding school has been cleared of a charge of having sexual activity with a pupil.A jury at Ipswich Crown Court found Stuart Barley, 45, not guilty of the offence this morning.

A TEACHER at a Suffolk boarding school has been cleared of a charge of having sexual activity with a pupil.

A jury at Ipswich Crown Court found Stuart Barley, 45, not guilty of the offence this morning.

The alleged incident happened one evening when the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, went to his office to collect a memory stick she had lent him.

Barley, who has 24 years teaching experience, claimed that on that occasion he had given her a kiss on the cheek to say “thank-you” for lending him the piece of equipment.

The jury, which had been deliberating for four hours and 28 minutes, returned a not guilty on the charge of abusing a position of trust by having sexual activity with a child under 18.

However they are still considering a second identical charge relating to an incident when Barley allegedly followed the girl to her room after she had been drinking at a school party.

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Barley, a father of two, denies he ever kissed the girl on the lips and claims he had merely been giving her a “reassuring hug” because she was upset following an argument with another pupil.

The jury has been sent home for the Easter break and are set to continue their deliberations on Wednesday.

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