A FORMER teacher has been found not guilty of a series of sexual assaults on one of his pupils when he worked at a private school in Taunton.

Christopher Pollard left the town's Crown Court a free man after the jury unanimously returned the not guilty verdict.

He was innocent of a total of 11 charges of indecent assaults alleged to have taken place on at least 23 occasions, the jury decided.

Mr Pollard, 69, who lives in Madrid, was supported by witness statements from a number of former pupils and teachers at Taunton School.

The complainant had claimed the incidents dated back more than 40 years

One pupil described Mr Pollard as an "inspirational" teacher of Spanish whose room was always open to pupils.

He was also described as "larger than life and very cultural".

A pupil said Mr Pollard, who was also an assistant housemaster, sometimes accompanied boys to the theatre, visiting London and Oxford, but added he never suspected anything untoward happened.

The complainant said that after he left school he had handed a dossier of his accusations to the headmaster at the time, although the school has no record of it.