CLEARED teacher Theresa McKenzie traded trial by jury for trial by national media when she sold her harrowing story.
Married mother-of-two Mrs McKenzie, 39 – who was unanimously cleared of seven charges alleging a sexual relationship with a special needs pupil – was grilled on Victoria Derbyshire’s BBC Radio 5 Live show and has attracted the interest of ITV’s This Morning programme.
Chronicle investigations this week confirmed Mrs McKenzie was paid a substantial sum for her story. Speaking to the Daily Mail in an exclusive interview over the weekend, Mrs McKenzie – formerly of Chester Road, Kelsall – said: “Everything I did was part of trying to save a very damaged boy.
“The knowledge that anyone could think anything else of me has been absolutely harrowing, and at times I have felt totally violated. It has been a horrible, horrible time.”
The respected former deputy head was cleared of seven charges of sexual activity with the 16-year-old pupil in a position of trust at Chester Crown Court last week.
But national newspaper reports criticised her relationship with the troubled teen saying it “clearly went way beyond that of teacher and pupil” and described her behaviour as “at best naive and inappropriate”.
“He was very abusive. But there were occasions when he would listen and respond, and I felt I could see a boy in there worth saving,” she told the Daily Mail. “I felt a huge sense of responsibility to the boy, and also to the school.
“I knew from experience that if I ignored him, his bad behaviour and suicidal tendencies would escalate. I was trying to manage his behaviour.”
With her teaching career in tatters she is said to be considering a future counselling teachers who fall foul of similar false accusations.
McKenzie will return to court in April in a bid to claim back costs from the trial.