Trial Where Student Was Accused Of Grooming Teacher Is Under Review

A ridiculous amount of victim-blaming going on here


by Stevie Martin |
Published on

Bizarrely, the trial of Stuart Kerner, the 44-year-old Religious Studies teacher who had sex with a 16-year-old girl while his wife was miscarrying their second child, has ended with him dodging a jail term, and the judge accusing the student of ‘grooming’ him.

Less bizarrely, there’ve been numerous complaints, leading to the Attorney General’s office announcing on Twitter that they’ll be considering whether to refer to the Court Of Appeal under [the unduly lenient sentences] scheme:

(They later corrected the misspelling of his name.)

The court heard that Kerner had sex with the student at school and at home, bringing a condom in and saying he would use it when she became too ‘irresistable’.

According to Judge Joanna Greenberg, the victim was obsessed with the teacher. ‘Her friends described her, accurately in my view, as stalking you... There is no evidence you encouraged her in any way. There is no evidence you groomed her. If anything, it was she who groomed you,’ she said to Kerner during the trial.

He was given an 18-month suspended sentence, his name will go on the sex offenders’ register, but he won’t serve any jail time.

‘You gave way to temptation at a time when you were emotionally vulnerable because of the problems with your wife’s pregnancy. She was intelligent and usd that intelligence to manipulate people emotionally. She was vulnerable and needy and had a troubled home life.’

She was also his student, and he was also her teacher. If the victim was stalking Kerner, then he should have put a stop to it.

We spoke to a male teacher who worked in an all girls’ school last year, who he told us: ‘You’re always very aware of what’s going on, and how it could be perceived. While I’ve never had any really dodgy moments, I was a bit paranoid about the giggles and whispering, and always checked myself to make sure the behaviour hadn’t gone too far.’

And this wasn’t one case of having sex with a student – he drove her to her home and had sex with her there too.

‘We are deeply concerned by the statements made by Judge Greenberg in sentencing Kerner for sexually abusing his student,’ Louise Pennington, head of Everyday Victim Blaming told The Guardian. ‘The law is clear that a child under the age of 18 cannot consent to a sexual relationship with a teacher because of the power imbalance. All teachers know this.’

It’s not possible for a child under 18 to groom an adult, with government guidelines stating that the law in question ‘is principally designed to protect young people aged 16 and 17 who, even though they are over the age of consent, are considered to be vulnerable to sexual abuse and exploitation from particular classes of persons who hold a position of trust or authority’.

Basically, it was put in place for scenarios exactly like what happened here – regardless of consent, this was an abuse of power.

The Attorney General’s office has said it will reach a decision on 11 February, so watch this space.

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Follow Stevie on Twitter: @5tevieM

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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