A top headteacher who had a baby with a teenage former pupil has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing.
Sean Heslop, 47, was arrested after his relationship with Tasha Prior emerged earlier this year and has been on police bail for seven months.
But Kent Police has now concluded its investigation and will not be bringing any charges against the former head of Marlowe Academy and Folkestone Academy in Kent.
Cambridge-educated Heslop insist the relationship with Tasha, a former Folkestone Academy student, only started when she had left the school at 18 and had started at Sheffield University.
She has since given birth to their son and Heslop explained the entire ordeal has ruined his career in education and he is now trying to rebuild his life.
He said: “The last seven months on bail have been the worst of my life and, at times, it had more in common with a 17th century witchcraft trial as opposed to 21st century England.
“I was delighted but not surprised to hear the police criminal investigation has been dropped due to a lack of evidence.”
Heslop was appointed as Folkestone Academy principal in 2009 and became executive principal of both schools in 2013 – but resigned after he was suspended after his arrest in April.
He was previously head of Tiffin School, a selective boys’ grammar school in Kingston-upon-Thames, south-west London, and separated from his wife Celine last year.
He said: “There is a presumption in English law you are innocent until proven guilty. To see a foetal scan of your unborn baby in a national newspaper was something that, despite my usual resilience, shocked me.
“The day before that same newspaper had visited my 81-year-old mother to question her about my relationship with a former student.”
The family have since moved away from Folkestone, Kent, and Heslop said he will be taking “action” to prevent this happening again, but declined to comment further.
He added: “I would like to state my thanks and gratitude to all those who defended me.
“They are friends, family but also parents at the Academy and residents of Folkestone who sent the most supportive messages and, more than others, used their judgement and common sense.
“These messages are one of the things that have kept me going through the dark times.”
A Kent Police spokesman said: “A 47-year-old man who was arrested on March 31 on suspicion of abuse of a position of trust was released without charge on November 19.”
Detective Inspector Ed Ruffle said: “We take all allegations of this nature extremely seriously and our officers conducted a thorough investigation, working closely with the school involved.
“Following the completion of the investigation, the decision was taken to release the man without charge.”