Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Teacher Found Not Guilty of Abusing Her Position

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Teacher Found Not Guilty of Abusing Her Position

Article excerpt

A JURY found Deborah Lowe not guilty of abusing her position as a teacher to have sex with a pupil.

But, as her lawyer noted, she had been a 'bloody fool' - even if she had committed no crime - by getting intimate with him a few months after he left school.

The 54-year-old divorcee and mother-of-two - a former airline stewardess with British Caledonian - became national news after she went on trial over her relationship with the teenager.

Ms Lowe had started as a teaching assistant at the school 14 years earlier and ended up being a non-teaching head of year, in charge of the school's pastoral care team, trying to help out troublesome or troubled kids.

One of the hundreds of boys she took under her wing was a 15-year-old who liked to flirt with 'Miss' - the only one she ever gave her mobile number to.

His behaviour in class had been poor and she was doing her best to make sure he wasn't excluded. She would give him 'sweets and treats' to get him onside and even became friends with his mother.

I have anything before. I why I did ashamed Deborah "It started when I was about 15. I was like generally a flirty person, just messing about with people and that. Just having a joke with the teachers and staff," the boy would later tell the police.

He said that 'everybody knew we could go to Miss Lowe.' .

' One of his classmates described his pal as a 'very cheeky cha',' although other evidence suggested this was an understatement, and recalled how his mate and the teacher were 'quite flirty'.

The boy himself had claimed he and his putative admirer actually first considered swapping numbers in school but there were other teachers around. They did it later when no-one could see.

That night Ms Lowe sent the teenager suggestive pictures and the pair had a 25-minute phone sex session, he said. It happened again a few nights later, he claimed. On the other end of the phone line, he described an enthusiastic partner who was 'proper going on with it.' .' Even though he was initially 'creeped out' by his affair with an older woman, the relationship blossomed.

The teenager was forced to deny suggestions from the defence barrister he liked to tell 'tall tales' about his exploits and that he was an 'attention-seeking fantasist' who simply fancied Deborah Lowe at school, attentions she said were simply not reciprocated until he had left school.

His credibility came under fire during the trial at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court. It emerged he had accepted a police caution for possessing cocaine. Terms for cannabis like 'lemon haze', 'blue cheese', 'bud', 'sniff',' 'frosties' and 'cake' were found on his phone.

He was branded a small-time drug dealer and accepted an invitation from the judge to answer 'no comment' to questions if he thought the answers might incriminate him. He was sacked from one job after being accused of stealing. …

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