Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Teacher was raped by pupil!

Teacher raped by 15-year-old pupil blames school for 'putting her in the way of a rapist'

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:06 PM on 23rd June 2009

Serving life: A court drawing of Dwayne Best

A teacher who was brutally assaulted by a 15-year-old pupil accused the school where the attack took place of 'putting her in the way of a rapist'.

The 32-year-old, who cannot be identified, said Westminster City School should have warned her that it was unsafe for her to be in her classroom alone after lessons.

The woman was attacked by powerfully-built Dwayne Best as she marked books after school - within a week of starting her job in September, 2004.

Best is serving a life sentence after being convicted at the Old Bailey.

Miss X sued the governing body of the school over her 'truly horrifying' ordeal. She has reached a secret settlement in the damages action.

Her counsel, Neil Block QC, told Mr Justice Foskett at London's High Court that her allegations of negligence against the school were on the basis that there had been a previous less serious sexual assault on a cleaner.

Best also had the 'most appalling' documented history in and out of school, displaying a belligerent and aggressive attitude.

Speaking after the case, Miss X said she had decided to bring a civil case because she thought the school should be held to account for their failings.

'They really failed. They let me down and I do hold them responsible for putting me in the way of a rapist.'

She said that the school had a duty of care to its employees under health and safety law which had not been followed.

The school should have carried out a risk assessment after the cleaner had been attacked, Miss X said.

'Nobody warned me. On a basic level that's what it comes down to, if they had warned me, I wouldn't have been there in the classroom.

The teacher was raped by pupil Dwayne Best at Westminster City School (above) in London. She says the school should be held responsible for the crime

'Truly horrifying': The teacher was raped by pupil Dwayne Best at Westminster City School (above). She says the school should be held responsible for the crime

'I take my own safety very seriously and I always have. I don't put myself in those kind of positions.

'Somebody else put me in the way of a rapist, that infuriates me intensely. Everybody has the right, not only to not be raped, but to make decisions about their own safety.'

Miss X said that Best's school records showed a 'degenerative' pattern of behaviour that the school should have picked up on.

'It was really bad management. If you have pupils who are in need of structure and behavioural management then you have in place policies and structures for teachers to use.'

Best's continually disruptive behaviour meant he should have been excluded, she said.

'If they had done right by me, I wouldn't have been there, and if they had done right by him, he was entitled to be properly managed, he wouldn't have been there.

'It's very sad that nobody valued my life enough to take one or two simple steps, that's one of the most depressing aspects of the case.'

Miss X said she hoped that her case would make schools go back and look again at their policies and risk assessments to make sure they are doing what they can to keep their staff safe.

Miss X has not returned to teaching since the attack.

She said: 'Being raped and losing my job was like being bereaved. I lost a thing I loved doing. It was devastating. I lost myself.'

Miss X said she was now looking forward to the future, with hopes of setting up her own business and starting a family.

Mr Block told the court today that the two sides had agreed that as there had been a 'generous award in another jurisdiction' to Miss X, the current proceedings should be stayed on confidential terms with the school paying her costs.

The judge said it was very much to her credit that she wanted to use material from the case to ensure other people did not have to go through the same ordeal, and wished her well for the future.

A spokesman for Westminster City School said: 'This incident took place at the school five years ago. It was a highly unusual case which could not have been foreseen by the school. Neither was this incident the fault of the school.

'Both parties have now resolved this matter and are not at liberty to provide any further information.'

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