There have been some interesting and subtle changes to the way the law works in the UK. For example a recent decision has established that someone is ‘guilty by accusation’ even if it’s been proved those accusations are in fact false!!
The case of John Pinnington who was falsely accused of sexually assaulting three of his pupils whilst teaching a school for autistic youngsters is one of these.
Despite the cases being investigated by police and having no action taken in any of them, the accusations are on Mr Pinningtons record and a judge has determined there they should remain! The decision means any and all potential future employers must *also* be told about the accusations meaning he can never again resume his career in teaching!
The argument is that any accusation that includes unsubstantiated abuse allegations should only remain on record if there is good cause to believe they are true. A subjective decision perhaps but surely one that could be worked with. However, the judge decided employers needed to know that allegations had been made and for them to be able to make their own decisions, especially when they were employing people working with vulnerable youngsters.
The question remains though… if this decision stands… how does one clear ones name from false allegations? The answer seems to be that mud sticks and basically… you can’t!
For John Pinnington this means his career in teaching is probably at an end.