Teacher cleared over underage sex
A primary school teacher has been cleared of having underage sex with teenage girls.
Jonathan Mark Norbury sobbed in the dock as the jury of nine women and three men acquitted him of all 14 charges.
The 33-year-old had been accused of sexually touching the 15-year-olds as well as inciting them to engage in sexual activity a decade ago.
Norbury admitted romances with the pair, but only when they were above the age of consent.
His trial at Swansea Crown Court heard one of the girls became obsessed with the law graduate and began "stalking" him after he ended their relationship, while the court was told the other was looking for "revenge" after learning he had got married and settled down.
During the course of the two-week trial, the prosecution alleged that Norbury would pick up one of the under-age girls in his car before driving to secluded spots in South Wales to engage in sexual activity.
The court was also told he asked the teenager to keep their relationship secret.
However, in his defence the devout Christian said he wanted to keep quiet about their two-year relationship because he feared being disciplined by a "strict" church where he had long been a member.
Norbury said it was that fear of losing face among fellow church-goers that prompted him to end their romance, which he said started when she was 16 and finished when she was 19.
During his evidence earlier in the week, he had said: "How did she respond when the relationship finished? She was unhappy.
"She would sometimes follow me in her car and I was bombarded with with text messages.
"I was stupid to have a relationship with her ... (but) at the time I thought I loved her."
An emotional Norbury, who left court with his wife Katie as well as other family members, told reporters he was glad the case was over - but would not comment any further.
Following the verdict, Judge Paul Thomas thanked the jurors for their service.
He said: "No-one is under any illusion as to the level of responsibility and pressure which has been placed upon you.
"You have concentrated intensely over the past two weeks and I have no doubt it may have been a difficult experience for you.
"I would like to thank you for your work that you have given to this case and also the Crown Court."
Neither of the complainants in the case were former pupils of the teacher.