back to top

Teacher Who Slept With 16-Year-Old Pupil Is Spared Jail After Judge Rules She "Groomed" Him

The decision has received a furious reaction on social media.

Posted on

According to The Mirror, Kerner – vice principal at Bexleyheath Academy – also had sex with the girl in his guest bedroom while his wife was at work.

Back in December, he was convicted, by a majority verdict, of two counts of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust.

The Daily Mail reported then that his wife, Katharine, was "inconsolable and fled from the court" when the verdict was delivered. According to the paper, she said: "She's destroyed our lives. This is a miscarriage of justice, she's a liar."

During the case, the jury heard that a schoolgirl crush had become an 18-month affair, and that Kerner slept with the pupil in the same week his wife had a miscarriage.

The court was told the pair met in the storeroom during fourth period. Prosecutor Daniel Stevenson told the court:

She opened the door using a keypad. She grabbed and kissed him. There was a yoga mat on the floor. He put the blanket on the yoga mat and they lay down. He asked what she wanted and she said "I want you to fuck me." She later told police. It hurt but it was what I wanted at the time."

The police got involved after explicit material was found on the girl's phone by her parents.

Kerner's defence team claimed that the girl had only been able to give graphic details about her activities with Kerner because she had read the novel Fifty Shades of Grey and copied scenes from it.

Advertisement

According to The Mirror, she said:

The jury was not prepared to accept the evidence of the victim not supported with other evidence. The jury did not treat her as a reliable witness. She had no compunction in telling lies.

She pursued you. Her friends said she was stalking you. ...

There is no evidence you encouraged her in any way. There is no evidence you groomed her. If anything it was she who groomed you.

She added that Kerner "gave way to temptation" at a time when he was "emotionally vulnerable" because of his wife's pregnancy troubles. She described the girl as "intelligent" and able to "manipulate people emotionally" – but also said she was "vulnerable" and had "a troubled home life".

Kerner – who denied all charges against him – was also cleared of four other counts of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust and two counts of sexual activity with a child.

The judge's decision has sparked a furious reaction on social media.

Imagine. You're 16. Your teacher has been found guilty of illegally having sex with you. And the judge says this:

Claire Phipps@Claire_PhippsFollow

Imagine. You're 16. Your teacher has been found guilty of illegally having sex with you. And the judge says this:

2:50 PM - 14 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

@Claire_Phipps I don't understand how a minor with no sexual experience can sexually groom an adult?

Elodie Harper@ElodieITVFollow

@Claire_Phipps I don't understand how a minor with no sexual experience can sexually groom an adult?

3:01 PM - 14 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

I'm astounded by this. Judge says she was vulnerable&from a troubled home. Yet a 16 yo girl 'grooms' her 44yo teacher?http://t.co/p4kMekygLK

Ali Jackson-Carter@alisonmjacksonFollow

I'm astounded by this. Judge says she was vulnerable&from a troubled home. Yet a 16 yo girl 'grooms' her 44yo teacher?http://t.co/p4kMekygLK

4:08 PM - 14 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

@Claire_Phipps @KathViner so wait, "giving way to temptation" is now a reasonable defence for sex offences?

Heidi Stephens@heidistephensFollow

@Claire_Phipps @KathViner so wait, "giving way to temptation" is now a reasonable defence for sex offences?

3:07 PM - 14 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alan White at alan.white@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.