University College School teacher Geoffrey Plow cleared of sexually abusing pupils
PUBLISHED: 14:38 07 October 2016 | UPDATED: 14:38 07 October 2016
A housemaster at University College School in Hampstead has been cleared of abusing two pupils there after a four-day trial.
Dr Geoffrey Plow, 59, was accused of groping one pupil at the £18,400-a-year school in Frognal, where he was a teacher for 30 years.
The languages tutor was also alleged to have fondled a 17-year-old’s thighs twice when they were alone in closed classrooms.
A jury of eight men and four women cleared him of all charges at Blackfriars Crown Court.
Giving evidence, Dr Plow said he was just inspecting the first boy for evidence of “greasiness or stickiness” after he accidentally got butter on his leg following a practical joke in class.
Dr Plow allegedly asked the first complainant, who was then 13, to write on his whiteboard and would then cup his hand on the boy’s bottom on “many occasions”, usually in full view of other pupils, between 1999 and 2003.
He reported the teacher to police in 2015 after an unrelated sexual assault “brought back memories” and caused him to have a “nightmare” about his former schoolmaster.
When officers contacted the school they discovered the 17-year-old’s parents had complained about Dr Plow molesting their son twice in 2007, but the matter was dealt with internally by the headmaster at the time - who recently died.
Dr Plow denied ever making sexual contact with his pupils.
Under examination, he said: “I would only touch pupils in comfort or consolation.
“It was not of a sexual nature, there was no sexual motive at all.”
Dr Plow, of Granville Place, Pinner, was found not guilty of two counts of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 16, between 1999 and 2003, and two of sexual assault on a male, between September and December 2007.
Speaking after the verdict was delivered, Dr Plow said: “I am extremely relieved.
“This process has gone on for over a year. People can hardly imagine how arduous that has been.”