An innocent teacher has spoken out about the devastating effect an accusation of sexual assault had on his life.
Peter Wilson has been acquitted of 11 sex assaults on five female pupils by a jury at Preston Crown Court.
The jury took just 20 minutes to find him not guilty of touching and kissing the young girls at a Blackpool primary school.
The judge had ordered the jury to acquit him on three further counts relating to another girl earlier in the hearing. Mr Wilson had denied all of the 14 charges.
Mr Wilson, 35, of Bentley Green, Thornton Cleveleys, was suspended from the unnamed school after two girls told another teacher he had touched their bottoms and kissed them. Mr Wilson denied he'd had any inappropriate contact with his pupils, and that any touching was nothing more than a pat on the back, a hug, or a touch on the shoulder.
The jury heard that the pupils gave similar accounts of Peter Wilson rubbing his hand down their backs or leaning close to them cheek-to-cheek before patting them on the bottom.
Jeremy Lasker for the prosecution said the jury must determine if the allegations were "playground gossip" or if they had any factual basis.
After his acquittal, Mr Wilson said:
"My greatest distress was that, as a result of these unfounded allegations, social services were present at the birth of our first child and I was required to sign an agreement to say that I could not live in the same house as my wife and newborn baby. This lasted eight months.
"Now that this horrible ordeal is finally over I look forward to rebuilding my life with new wife, new son and the rest of my family."
His wife Clare cried in court as he was acquitted.