Female school governor given restraining order after row with the headmistress on sports day

February 3, 2015 | by | 0 Comments

A female school governor has been given a restraining order – after a row with the headmistress on sports day.

Ingrid Chenoweth has been banned from contacting headteacher Karen Middlemore after an incident during the annual event.

Mrs Chenoweth, 49, faced an allegation of assault following the incident at St Mawes Community Primary School, Cornwall.

No details of the alleged assault or background to the rift were given at Truro Magistrates Court.

She was cleared of assault but was slapped with a four-year restraining order, forbidding her from contacting the head.

The restraining order means the defendant can only contact Mrs Middlemore at governor meetings.

Neither party would confirm exactly what happened during the sports day to prompt the allegation.

Speaking after the hearing, Mrs Chenoweth, said: “I am very relieved to be exonerated today. I have been through hell for eight months.

“I have always maintained that there was no physical contact between Karen Middlemore and myself and I was not guilty of the offence of common assault.

“My husband David and I are very grateful for the support of many of the parents of children at the school.

“We appreciate their willingness to attend court and give evidence about the incident at sport’s day on 25 June last year.

“We look forward to participating in the mediation process proposed by the county council and address the communication issues which underpin this incident.”

Mrs Chenoworth has two children at the school, aged seven and ten, where the current head has been in post for around five years.

She said: “Our focus remains our children and putting their interests first. We will continue to do everything to ensure they thrive at St Mawes Primary School.

“I am very relieved we have got justice. I have accepted the restraining order as I am never planning on going near her again. I have turned that around and view it as a way of protecting me from her.”

Following the hearing, Cornwall Council, on behalf of the school, said it hoped a line would now be drawn on the issue.

A spokesman said: “It has been a very difficult time for the school and staff and governors have acted with great professionalism in dealing with this matter.”

The details of the restraining order prevents Mrs Chenoweth from contacting Mrs Middlemore “directly save when participating in any mediation process arranged by the local authority or when attending a meeting of the board of governors”.

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