Search

Kato Harris warns men after Camden rape acquittal: ‘Don’t become a teacher’

PUBLISHED: 12:43 18 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:59 18 April 2017

Kato Harris.

Kato Harris.

Archant

A man cleared of raping a 14-year-old girl while teaching at a Camden school has warned other men to avoid the profession after the accusation made him “toxic”.

Kato Harris. Kato Harris.

Kato Harris, 38, said he is now unemployed, living in a bedsit, about to go on benefits – and even pledged to kill himself after he was accused of raping a pupil three times at a girls’ school.

Teaching made his life “like a wonderful dream” while his career was going well and he was expecting a child, but when he was tried for rape last year his life was destroyed and he was in “total shock”.

He told the Mail on Sunday: “I would certainly advocate that no man qualify as a teacher. It is just not worth it.

“What is the lesson here? There is nothing to protect the male teacher.”

Kato Harris. Kato Harris.

He added: “I had to give up my dream job because of a crime I didn’t commit,” he said, adding that it will be “one of the biggest challenges” to forgive his accuser.

“I am unemployed, living in a bedsit and will soon be on housing benefit. I am toxic.”

It took a jury 26 minutes to find Mr Harris, of Richmond, not guilty when he was tried at Isleworth Crown Court in July.

He was working as head of geography and assistant head at the school when he was accused in December 2014 of having raped a girl during lunchbreaks in autumn 2013.

Mr Harris said he is now considering a job in a crematorium, adding: “If I knew on the day I qualified what I know now, I would never have become a teacher.

“I will never work with children again – I will never put myself in that position of vulnerability.”

He also said he had made the decision to kill himself if he was charged, but that with the arrival of a baby daughter he wanted to carry on and prove his innocence.

Mr Harris added: “I’ve looked into the abyss. But every day I wake up and I’m a daddy and not in prison – and that’s the best thing that I could have hoped for.”

After he was found not guilty, Mr Harris told a crowd outside the court: “The last 20 months have put massive stress on my family.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their love and care.

“I am grateful for the hundreds of letters from former colleagues, friends, past pupils who sent messages of support. I will reply to all.”

He added: “It is my my sincere wish that this extraordinary case does not deter people who have been victims of sexual abuse coming forward in the future.

“There is a beautiful world out there and for 20 months I’ve been terrified of it, and I’ve been hiding from it.”

“I’m now going into it a good man, and a free man.”

A spokesman for campaign group accused.me.uk – which seeks to defend men from false rape accusations – said it has seen “an increasing stream of lies” that are “ruining the lives of men like Kato Harris”.

He added: “Whilst all allegations of a sexual or violent nature against women and children need to be taken seriously, his case is one of many that shows that decent men are being publicly pilloried for things they didn’t do.”

Related articles

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

09:12

Camden Green Party launched their manifesto yesterday, with Highgate councillor Sian Berry saying Camden Council is failing to listen to residents on housing.

Yesterday, 16:21

After over 50 years in the acting industry, and a decade of unprecedented success delivering outstanding part-time performing arts tuition at her weekend Academies across the country, Pauline Quirke returns to her roots to create even more opportunities for young performers in North London.

Yesterday, 14:19

Author Sir Ken Robinson is to join the Roundhouse as an associate creative curator in a bid to get thousands of young people involved in the arts.

Yesterday, 10:30

Police are trying to trace two teenagers they believe are connected to an attempted robbery and assault on a Thameslink train from West Hampstead.

Yesterday, 08:30

Safety campaigners fear the Hampstead community will be at risk of more crime as the number of neighbourhood police officers has been slashed.

Wed, 17:30

Flick Rea is a fairly unique councillor, even it comes to Camden Council.

Wed, 15:07

It was a case of the Liberal Democrats preaching to the converted, as they launched their elections manifesto at St James’ Church in West Hampstead last night.

Mon, 17:00

Current deputy leader Cllr Joseph Ejiofor said Claire Kober’s flagship policy “does not provide the answer” on housing in the borough.

PROMOTED CONTENT

After over 50 years in the acting industry, and a decade of unprecedented success delivering outstanding part-time performing arts tuition at her weekend Academies across the country, Pauline Quirke returns to her roots to create even more opportunities for young performers in North London.

Breaking news

10:07

Arsene Wenger is to leave Arsenal at the end of the season, which will end an association of more than two decades with the North London giants.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now