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Hampshire head teacher cleared of sexual activity with a child
9:15am Saturday 5th October 2013 in News
A headteacher has been cleared by a jury of two charges of sexual activity with a child.
Andrew Howard, who was suspended as head of Velmead Junior School in Fleet, Hampshire, when the claims were made, had denied the offences which were alleged to have taken place in 2010 and 2011.
A jury at Winchester Crown Court returned unanimous not guilty verdicts on both counts.
Judge Andrew Barnett told the 46-year-old from Basingstoke that he could leave the court ''without a stain'' on his character.
The prosecution had claimed that Mr Howard had fondled the boy, who was aged under 16 at the time, on the thigh and groin.
But he denied that he had touched the teenager, who was not one of his pupils, in a sexual way but did admit in court that he had hugged the boy to comfort him and when saying hello and goodbye.
He also said that he had given the boy, who is now 18, money and gifts as well as taken him to football matches and other sporting events but with the knowledge of the boy's parents.
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