In explaining my gap in employment, for over 5 years,  I only need to say the three words "I was arrested  . . "  and any interview effectively is ended. I have been advised by naive employment advisors to not mention my arrest - too lie on my CV about the gaps! So I try desperately to keep my own counsel on this, but when it becomes evident that an interviewer is seeking clear explaination of events leading to my unemployment; where lying and deception are not an option, I am faced with revealing all. To date, the reaction has been for the interviewer to recoil. Qualifying any statement generates a high level of interest, but does petition the a lack of understanding of exoneration. The shock on the facially blood drained interviewer has often lead to a very awkward finalisation of any interview. Presenting documents about my exoneration and 'exceptional case' procedure to remove me from the PNC does not give much recovery to the interviewers interest in me and I recognise deep down the fear of others. 

There is an element of doubt, apprehension, fear and distrust in the minds of many towards someone who has been accused of a crime, let alone a serious allegation of a crime which relates to the exploitation of minors. Added to this is the 'court of public opinion'.

The tabloid newspapers would guide us to believing that every male whose primary employment, in education or caring for others, is a deviant. Of course, there is a solution:

Summarily 'Sack' all male staff! - Positively discriminate and get rid of them from our schools and care environments. Then no potential risk of deviancy, nor actual deviancy will exist!? 

Ignore the call from academics, which keep appealing for more males to be appointed as social workers, teachers, nurses and child carers. Ignore the constant stream of expert ('what do they know anyway') studies indicating that children, especially boys, benefit from male interaction or they can develop warped attitudes and behaviours, when most of their lives are spent with females .

Positively discriminate and just appoint females.

Ignore the fact that many cultures subjugate women and therefore in a school environment many adolescent males hold female teachers in contempt, because they are female!

(Opps!) I nearly overlooked some basic statistics, which we tend to find complexing as paedophilia is identified by too many professionals as an exclusively male behaviour.

"Researchers from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation (LFF), a child protection charity that deals with sex offenders, said its studies confirmed that a "fair proportion" of child abusers were women. "

The reports finding went on to say " . . results indicated that up to 20% of a conservative estimate of 320,000 suspected UK paedophiles were women. "

With the ever increasing evidence and prosecutions being against women, we could go the 'whole hog' and  consider not employing females in care and education environments, as well! (Of course I'm being flippant!)

My reasons for mentioning all the above, is associated with my belief that the profiling model used by the Police for offenders is 'Male, over 50, single, working in Education or Care'. I earnestly believe the Police thought they had 'Mr.Big' (when I was arrested) and treated me as such.

Whilst waiting in the custody cell  'I saw the (invisible) writing on the wall' , as I had, as a manager, good grounding in 'Safe Guarding' Employment Protocols in Education. The Childrens Act 2004 led to clear guidance on when, how and the methodology to employing  someone. I had from my past experience of dealing with my employer, the full confidence about their reactions and their rapid change of view towards me on arrest. They also had their 'good name' to protect. 

I had become an embarrassment. I could just 'hear' the conversations amongst the senior management team of the college, "Oh my god! What happens if the parents find out?" , "There must be some substance to it".

In September 2012, having been released under bail, I was not to engage with anyone under 16, Therefore, I was obviously not able to do my job. There was a side issue which would have made my functioning difficult anyway - I was completely traumatised - so would have not been functioning at full speed. Bursting into tears randomly would not have been seen as too professional!

Several weeks after my arrest, my employers 'decided' to sack me!

My employers concluded that because I had not communicated with them, my employment was ended - " Having regard to the course of conduct you have followed I can only conclude that you have resigned from your employment"  Part of the content of the letter said that they had asked the police to pass on a message that I should make contact with them after my release. Sadly, the police failed to relay the message to me. Prior to this letter I had not had any communication from the college. However the Police had conveyed a message that the college had suspended me.

The college did not have a Human Resources Department, so any discussions were only had with their solicitors. There was a clear case for "Unfair Dismissal'  unfolding and they had a swift response from me with the support of a solicitor. They responded with an offer for me to leave without any animosity. The solicitor told me what I must do to stay compliant with legal expectations and ultimately the course of action was my choice; between challenging this route via a tribunal or accepting the offer. If I accepted the process of redress through an Employment Tribunal, there was an 80% chance that the payout would be very small (a couple of months salary equivilant) . He advised I could be better served to accept an offer from the college and get a better settlement within a Compromise Agreement, which in itself was only marginally bigger. 

There is a common myth, that industrial payouts in compensation resulting from Industrial/Employment Tribunals are quite high. There have been some note able and sensational cases, reported in the press over the last twenty years. Time has moved on. This is not so with most of cases of unfair dismissal today. At the time of my potential claim,  the government had already changed the process of claim and tribunal cases, many of which were taking up to a year to resolve. The cold reality is that most compensation payments are very small. It's a process of working through a 'formulae of potentiality' of the claimant getting replacement employment. This formulae is skills and age related and is nothing to do with location or circumstances. 

In 2013 the government changed the fees structure making it more difficult for anyone to claim unless they could stomp up £250 in admin costs. We have seen the demise of another route for anyone less wealthy, to seek legal redress against wrong doers. Recent reports have identified that the number of claims has reduced by 58% during the period of 2013-14. Hence we have seen little reporting on industrial tribunals. Maybe because the payments are not sensational enough to be reported by the medias and secondly the volume of claimants has reduced.

I signed the 'Compromise Agreement' and the agreed small sum was paid to me. Employment laws only protected me for 24 months of employment, I had only worked 22 for my employers. I think they recognised that some messy litigation was going to 'smear' their good name. I was given an 'acknowledgement' of having worked at the college. They were not prepared (at that stage) to risk giving a full character reference representing the real me. In the light of being exonerated and released from Police Bail, I have since pleaded with them to provide a more character based reference. In early 2015, I approached a member of the senior management team, who has been as supportive as the college solictors will alllow. Regardless of all supporting evidence, clearly identifying I am of no further interest to the Police (and have not been since the 19th December 2012) and supplied to the colleges solcitors, they are not accepting I have been completely exonerated.

In April 2016, having provided evidence to the college that I had been exonerated, my former employers provided me with a 'pro forma' character reference. It is a very strong supportive reference.

Now, 48 plus months on and being of no interest to the police, was released from any bail in 2012, have not been charged or convicted of any offence, - with no further action to be taken; with removal of all data, dna, fingerprints etc,. associated with my arrest being granted by a Chief Constable using 'exceptional procedures'  to remove all data from the Police National Computer (PNC), all data has been removed from UNIFI (local database system used by the Police) and any enquiry from DBS (formerly CRB) will produce a 'clean' enhanced DBScertificate (as I have one in my possession), yet . . 

The greatest of all questions:

"If I were a candidate for employment with you; subject to me meeting all the role requirements and being the most experienced, professionally qualified, of good character, capable,  but a little dented etc,. would you risk employing me knowing about this accusation?"

(Note: A very small number of people (believed to be one in every two thousand), who appeal for removal of information from the PNC and deletion of DNA, finger prints, photograph and their records to be destroyed are granted this by Chief Constables as Data Controllers. You can read more here)