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The teacher who couldn’t take anymore

PUBLISHED: 17:57 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:10 25 August 2010

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FRIENDS and family have come out in support of an innocent teacher who committed suicide after allegations of sexual activity in front of a child.

FRIENDS and family have come out in support of an 'innocent' teacher who committed suicide after allegations of sexual activity in front of a child.

Adrian Wolfson, 35, who was a teacher at Deansfield Primary School, Eltham for 12 years, threw himself off a cliff in Zawn Cove, Cornwall, an inquest heard last Wednesday.

Five days before his death on February 27, the Cambridge graduate was suspended from the job he loved, after he pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual activity in the presence of a child, at Thamesmead Leisure Centre. Mr Wolfson's former pupil Nikki Harper, 18, whose three younger brothers were also taught by the Dr Who fan, said "there is no way the allegations could have been true".

She added: "It never once crossed our minds that the allegations were true. He wasn't that sort of man. He was completely innocent. Once the accusations were made, he couldn't go back to the school.

"He would have been absolutely mortified by it. He didn't know how much support he did have. He couldn't bear for people to think any less of him than they did." Pupils said their teacher was an inspiration and he passed on his passion for reading and learning to everyone he taught. He would dress up in costumes for historic and fun days and was described as "the spirit of the school".

Miss Harper added: "My younger brother was in his class at the time of the tragedy and was hugely affected by his death and still talks about him every day.

"I just wish he had the chance to see the support he had before his death."

His father Stan said that the school, where his son had attended himself in the late 1970s and '80s, was his second home.

He said it was while working for the charity Campus, which provides holidays for vulnerable children that his son realised there was good in every child. Mr Wolfson, 71, said: "Adrian, as numerous children and parents reiterated, was a one-off who left a void that could never be adequately filled. I'm proud that he was my son and that others, both adults and children, loved him as much as I."

At the inquest at Truro City Hall, Mr Wolfson provided a statement that told of the last time he saw his son.

It read: "He was distraught and said he had been treated very badly by the people who arrested him and locked him up. When he left he gave me a big hug and told me he loved me, which he had only done once before when his mother recently died." The inquest heard that Mr Wolfson booked himself in at a hotel in St Just, Cornwall on February 26 and he was last seen eating breakfast the following morning. Later that day, his body was found on the shoreline near Botallack in the far West of Cornwall. He had written a letter addressed "to the person who finds me" that said he had left a fingerprint on his glasses to confirm his identity.

The letter read: "This is the last place I have chosen to feel the wind in my face."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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