I drove in nearly one continuous 300-mile journey, interluded by the car deciding to 'break down' just off the M1. How I kept my composure I do not know. Rescued by the AA, who managed to fix a sensor issue, I finally arrived in Devon at 8 pm to an empty house. My lodger - Housesitter was gone. I was much relieved that I did not have to confront him. I sat on the sofa in the lounge, lights off, curtains open, and started to shake in shock and then burst into tears.
There have been many private and public tearful moments since. I predicted I had lost my job, I was uncertain what my future would be and I was clueless about who I should turn too. There was little precedence from my former life, how one should introduce the topic of being accused of being a paedophile.
For over two weeks I did not venture out of the house or see another soul. I was rescued by the box of provisions taken from my flat kitchen cupboard. I ate my way through the freezer and dried pasta. I had coffee without milk and made do without bread. I wandered around the house. I started to clear the house of any remnants of my lodger. Regardless to its value, it went into a bin liner. I was traumatised.
On suspension and less than three weeks after the arrest I had a 'matter of fact' letter from my employers, informing me that they determined 'my lack of communication as my desire to resign'. I contacted the appointed duty-solicitor who represented me during my time in Police custody. He immediately put me in contact with a specialist employment solicitor and during the subsequent three weeks they thrashed out with my former employers a compromise severance, as my former employers were not prepared to have me back at the college. My employers subsequently came to a ‘Compromise Agreement’ with a small settlement payment in leiu of my claiming unfair dismissal and agreed on the content of any future reference (sadly, it was short and only is a statement of fact that I worked in the establishment - not a character reference). This was all completed with me under severe duress and in trauma, this was not a good negotiating position.
From the day I was arrested to the 19th December 2012, I was placed under 'Police conditional bail' to not associate with any persons under the age of 16. Because of the nature of my job as a Residential Manager in a Residential College, I was suspended immediately on my release from the Police questioning.
I was due to attend a further police interview on the 19th December 2012, with North Yorkshire Police, but they determined that there was 'a lack of forensic evidence' (in my case ZERO!). I was ‘discharged from bail’ and no further action was to be taken with the matter.
My actions of the next three-plus years could not fall into the 'no further action' category! Concerning Police actions, I made strong representations and communications, on my own, as I fought to clear my name and recover some dignity and honour. I directed all my anger in researching and writing very formal letters to anyone and everyone in authority about my plight. I had approached several law firms and it was clear my case was quite complex and they put a 'by' on helping me out. I had no money to employ solicitors or barristers and the rules on 'conditional fees' (no win, no pay) had changed radically.
I was not happy with the whole procedural outcome of my arrest. I had one clear bit of Guidance was from a young paralegal, from one of the big 'claims' solicitors we see advertising on TV. He explained that his firm would not take me on, but it might help to follow a route involving the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) because without their investigation it would be unlikely that a solicitor would take me on. I spoke with the IPCC and they said I needed to go through a 'local resolution' complaints process with the Police Force involved first. I did find the concept troubling, that the 'Police would investigate themselves'
I made a series of formal complaints which led to two North Yorkshire Police Officers being disciplined for procedural matters they overlooked. An example of which was failing to provide me with any food and restricting my fluid intake. Later it was to be revealed that the arrest itself was unlawful.
Other than family ‘snaps’, I have never had any pictures of children on my computer media or in my possession.
I believe I was considered as 'collateral damage' to the Criminal Justice System and as such, I am a victim of it. Even though there was no case to answer, there will always be a significant number of people who consider me possibly guilty, especially with the current climate of accusation. My only guilt is that I accepted a lodger into my home and thus, by association, I had been drawn into the whole sordid affair.
Being caught in a situation, not of my own making, I feel I have been criminalised and ostracised by a system, which with its full force prevents me earning money to pay the mortgage, paying utility bills and has even left me to forage around the 'end of life' rack, in the supermarket, to cobble together meals testing my immune system, using bacterias food to the highest risk!
My anonymity was not secure and this arrest can not be ‘left behind’ or undone. There are enough 'hotheads' out there who feel some 'god-given right' to take the law in their own hands.
Unlike many injustices, this issue is not one which can be discussed or broadcasted, even by the articulate, as the UK press has whipped up a fervour of doubt to any male's intentions if they work in a care or vulnerable person settings. Therefore, getting clear and non-judgemental advice was never going to be easy.
I have been left unemployed to any situation where I would use my training, experience, and qualifications. Anyone unemployed will say that time is no healer in getting working; the longer you are out of work, the more difficult it becomes to getting work. Even the most basic manual work demanded the last employer reference - something which was not available until April 2016.
At the time of my arrest, regardless of there being no charge and subsequent release from the alleged committing of a serious crime (even from unsupported malicious rumour), it was recorded on the Police National Computer and subsequently disclosed to the ‘Disclosure and Barring’ system. (These entries have taken a few 'mountain moves' to get information about me taken off the Police National Computer). Today I have a clear record.