Presumed Guilty by Simon Warr (Was £20. Now £5.99)
27 February 2017
A teacher's solitary battle to clear his name
On the evening of 18 December 2012, boarding school teacher Simon Warr, who had been described by his Headmaster as one of the outstanding schoolmasters of his generation , was arrested at his home following an allegation of historical child abuse.
The complainant was unknown to Warr other than the fact he happened to be a pupil in a school where Warr had taught over thirty years previously. Even though there was no evidence to support the complainant's allegation, Warr was kept on bail for nine months before being charged. He then had to wait a further thirteen months for the case to go to trial.
This is the story of how Simon Warr spent 672 days on bail, single-handedly mounting his defence against the seemingly limitless resources of a police incident room team. In the end, however, truth is the strongest resource of all, and the jury took fewer than forty minutes to acquit him unanimously on all charges.
Despite gaining his freedom, Warr lost his home, his career, his reputation, an extraordinary amount of money and, of course, his peace of mind. Conversely, although it became abundantly clear during the trial that the complainants were mistaken or lying, they were able to walk away with impunity and anonymity.
Presumed Guilty outlines the appalling injustices that falsely accused people have to suffer in what has become a symptom of the state s imperfect approach to historical child sex abuse allegations. In it, Warr suggests measures that should be urgently adopted to ensure that, in these emotive cases fairness and justice prevail and that a veil of doubt is not cast over genuine abuse sufferers complaints.