A top music professor who spanked students during private lessons has been found not guilty of sexual and indecent assaults.
Ross Campbell, 56, was cleared of sexually abusing adult male pupils after allegedly luring them to his home for private tuition.
Mr Campbell, from Oldwood Close in Farnborough, was acquitted of 11 charges relating to his time at Guildford School of Acting (GSA), which he left in 2011.
He said he had been through an “horrendous ordeal” following allegations by former pupils that he had spanked them for his own sexual gratification.
Jurors unanimously cleared him of seven counts of sexual assault and four of indecent assault.
Following the verdicts Mr Campbell said: “This has been hanging over my head for a long while now. I always knew I was totally innocent of all the charges and the jury have unanimously agreed.”
He added: “I would like to thank my barrister, Richard Button, for all his work on the case, together with his legal team. Also my dear wife, Lorraine, for her unending and total support. This has been a vicious, vindictive vendetta against me with the sole purpose of wrecking my career.”
Prosecutors claimed while serving as the head of singing and music at GSA, he assaulted three students between 2003 and 2011.
The teacher was said to have told one man that he had been naughty and ‘needed to be spanked’. The ex-pupil also said Mr Campbell wanted him to call him Daddy.
Prosecutor Brian Stork said another man had been reduced to tears by a spanking as punishment for a poor rendition of a song.
Mr Campbell had denied the charges but accepted he was interested in spanking as a tool of punishment and boundary setting.
He denied getting any sexual enjoyment from the spanking.
Yesterday (Wednesday), after a day’s deliberation, the jury of five men and seven women gave 11 unanimous not guilty verdicts.
The defendant, who had taken a small suitcase into the dock with him, leaned his head back and closed his eyes.
Judge Neil Stewart formally discharged Mr Campbell and allowed him to leave the dock.
The teacher stated afterwards he had resigned from GSA after suffering a physical breakdown through overwork several months before any criminal allegations first came to light.
He said he was still involved in teaching and on any given day he had a pupil in “every West End show”.
He said: “I remain a professor at the Royal Academy in London.
“They held the view of innocent until proven guilty, but it is my experience that you are, when thrown into this process, guilty until proven innocent.”