A retired home tutor has spoken of her relief after being acquitted of historic child sex offences dating back to the 1990s. Carolyn Keeling, 64, was found not guilty of sexually abusing a 13-year-old pupil, who is now 34 and cannot be named for legal reasons.
The mother-of-two, from the village of Taynton near Gloucester, was accused of having sex with the boy on over 100 occasions between 1993 and 1996. She was found not guilty of six indecent assault charges following a three-day trial at Gloucester Crown Court on Thursday (10 September).
The former pupil, who is now a father of three, reported the allegations to police in April 2013. He made the allegations to his mother in 2012, after reading about the abuse carried out by Jimmy Saville.
Following the verdict, Keeling expressed thanks to those who had supported her. "I still can't believe it actually - I am so pleased," she said. "I am very grateful to the National Union of Teachers who were backing me financially and my ex-colleagues, friends and family who were backing me emotionally.
"These two years, two months and however many days have been very stressful and now I have a life that I can lead. It is with you every minute of every day and it just never goes away."
"I feel very sorry for my accuser. He was a bright boy and I had high hopes for him. I have had some lovely successes with lots of children and it's them I shall remember, not him. They know who they are. They have made me life worthwhile and I shall think about them in the future rather than this ordeal I've been through."
Keeling rejected additional claims that she had smoked cannabis and drank wine with the boy, but accepted she had not prevented him from smoking cannabis at his home. "He was just a nice lad. [I'm] gobsmacked that he would do this. This is my worst nightmare," she told detectives.
In a statement, a spokesman for Gloucestershire Police said: "The trial was thorough and fair and Gloucestershire Constabulary respect the decision of the jury. We would always encourage anyone who has been the victim of historic sexual abuse to come forward."