A MATHS teacher accused of molesting a pupil on a school field trip has been acquitted by a crown court jury.

Neville Buckle denied sexually assaulting the girl, then 17 years old, on the residential trip in 2007.

Prosecutors claimed he had brought the student and other teens drinks in their hotel and later invited the girl and her friend into his hotel room.

It was not until 2018 that the girl had made a report to the police, after apparently seeing the defendant at a sports fixture.

Interviewed by detectives, Mr Buckle, 48, of Stainswick Lane, Shrivenham, claimed the account was a complete fabrication and denied any wrongdoing.

Following a four-day trial at Swindon Crown Court, a 12-strong jury unanimously cleared the teacher on a charge of sexual activity with a girl aged 13 to 17 by an adult in a position of trust.

Opening the case for the prosecution last Tuesday, David Maunder said the former teacher had joined a school field trip abroad at the end of the summer term in 2007. Buckle, a maths teacher, had gone along as a male chaperone to the boys on the trip.

His accuser, then a member of sixth form at the school near Swindon, claimed Buckle had brought her and friends drinks on one of the final nights of the excursion. It followed end-of-trip festivities described to the jury as a cross between a toga party and Britain’s Got Talent.

Buckle was said to have invited the girl and her friend into his hotel room.

The girl told police they had played “spin the bottle” then asked them about their sexual history in a game of “truth or dare”.

He was alleged to have massaged the now topless girl – Buckle’s accuser - as she lay on the bed. It was said he turned the conversation to sex, stripped off his underwear and she performed a sex act on him, stopping when she said she felt sick.

Mr Maunder, opening the case last week, had acknowledged there were differences in the accounts of the two girls – the alleged victim and her friend – notably in the extent to which the girl had consented to performing the sex act on Mr Buckle.

He told jurors it did not matter whether or not they thought the alleged act was consensual, merely if it had happened: “The issue for you to decide will be did this sexual activity take place or did it not.”

The jury, consisting of seven men and five women, delivered the not guilty verdict yesterday.

Judge Jason Taylor QC presided over the trial.