A driving instructor from Leverton accused of sexually assaulting five female pupils told police that he did not inappropriately touch any of them, a jury was told today (Friday).
Keith Warner admitted during an interview with officers that he exchanged ‘flirty’ messages with one of his students but added ‘I didn’t think there was any harm at the time. I’ve always flirted all my adult life’.
Warner admitted that he later formed the view the messages were inappropriate for him to exchange with a female pupils but he said ‘I don’t think it’s sexual’.
During the interviews, which were read to the jury at Lincoln Crown Court, Warner was asked about complaints that he stroked the legs of female pupils, kissed and hugged them. He said: “It did not happen.”
He said that he never had any sexual intentions towards any of the women.
PC Christopher Lill, who conducted the interviews, said: “Mr Warner denied the allegations. He said he had been a driving instructor for 10 years with a very good pass record.”
When Warner was asked about a complaint made by one young woman that he kissed her on the lips and made comments about her cleavage he responded: “I’m really shocked. I tried my hardest to help her.”
PC Lill said that Warner has since surrendered his driving instructors licence to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.
Warner did not give evidence to the jury but three of his former pupils were called on his behalf.
One 17-year-old told the jury that Warner at no time made her feel uncomfortable.
She said: “He was a very cheerful guy. He was well-mannered, very patient and very encouraging.”
Another teenager who began lessons with Warner on her 17th birthday said that the driving instructor hugged her at the end of a lesson and when she passed her driving test.
“I didn’t think anything wrong of him hugging me. I thought he was a very good driving instructor. He is a friendly, caring man and he clearly loves his family,” she said.
A third teenager who had lessons with Warner until he stopped teaching people to drive said: “He was very professional. He was very patient with me. He did nothing to make me feel uncomfortable.”
Keith Warner, 61, of Outgate, Leverton, near Boston, denies 11 charges of sexual assault involving five different women.
The trial continues on Tuesday.