A geography teacher cleared of raping a pupil has warned that men should steer clear of the profession, after a false allegation shattered his dream career.
Kato Harris, a head of department at an all-girls school in London, was accused of attacking a 14-year-old three times in a classroom during lunch breaks in autumn 2013 - but was found not guilty after a trial last year.
The 38-year-old said before his ordeal began, “life was like a wonderful dream”, and with a successful career and a child also on the way he was “looking forward to a great future”.
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday he has revealed that “one of the biggest challenges” he now faces is forgiving his accuser, something he said he will do, “just not now”.
He told the newspaper: “I would certainly advocate that no man qualify as a teacher. It is just not worth it. What is the lesson here? There is nothing to protect the male teacher.”
A jury found Mr Harris, from Richmond, not guilty of all charges following his trial at Isleworth Crown Court.
“I had to give up my dream job because of a crime I didn’t commit,” he said.
“I am unemployed, living in a bedsit and will soon be on housing benefit. I am toxic.”
Mr Harris, who revealed he is now considering a job in a crematorium, added: “If I knew on the day I qualified what I know now, I would never have become a teacher.
“I will never work with children again - I will never put myself in that position of vulnerability.”
The accusations emerged in December 2014, and Mr Harris said he was in “total shock” when police arrested him.
He told the newspaper he had made the decision to kill himself if he was charged, but that with the arrival of a baby daughter he wanted to carry on and prove his innocence.
Mr Harris added: “I’ve looked into the abyss. But every day I wake up and I’m a daddy and not in prison - and that’s the best thing that I could have hoped for.”