‘The nightmare will stay with me forever’

The Mail reports that a teacher at a £33,000-a-year school who was falsely accused of rape by a student is now unemployed and living off benefits despite being cleared by a jury in just 15 minutes

Kato Harris was falsely accused of rape by a 14-year-old former pupil. Despite a flimsy case the CPS still brought a case against him the the case was thrown out in just 15 minutes due to a lack of any real evidence.

In December 2014, a troubled, attention-seeking 14-year-old pupil at his previous school – who, according to one of her teachers, was competing with a friend ‘as to who could have the biggest story’ – decided to accuse Mr Harris, a man of impeccable character, of rape.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Mr Harris reveals that the girl’s false claims have destroyed his career – and extinguished his once irrepressible spirit that endeared him to legions of children.

‘I had to give up my dream because of a crime I didn’t commit,’ he says. ‘I am unemployed, living in a bedsit and will soon be on housing benefit. I am toxic.’

‘If I knew on the day I qualified what I know now, I would never have become a teacher. I will never work with children again – I will never put myself in that position of vulnerability.’

Perhaps the most troubling question of all is why he was prosecuted in the first place.

From the outset, detectives doubted the girl’s ‘poor and heavily prompted’ account of being raped on three separate occasions in a classroom at lunchtime.

Mr Harris is convinced the case would have been dropped but for the deep pockets of the girl’s parents, who hired the services of both Alison Levitt, the former principal legal adviser to the head of the CPS, and Sue Akers, an ex-Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner.

Mr. Harris added, ‘I would certainly advocate that no man qualify as a teacher. It is just not worth it. What is the lesson here? There is nothing to protect the male teacher.’

Read more ‘The nightmare will stay with me forever’

What can be done to protect teachers from false accusations? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter ~ Tamsin

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  1. wasateacher

    Reading this makes me glad that, when I was falsely accused by a girl and her father of beating the girl, the police, my union and my head were sensitive towards me as well as to the girl. Fortunately, the police were able to demonstrate that the father’s story could not be true and the girl, whilst in care, made a similar complaint against her foster family. However, it was an incredibly stressful time – and one problem is that you cannot talk to colleagues to get support. Thank goodness for the NUT who supported me throughout and for a sensible head teacher.

    Never, ever forget how vulnerable teachers are to false or malicious accusations.

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