A taxi driver was banned from taking children to school after he was reported for kissing and hugging his two young daughters.
Taxi Driver, Tony Kemp, 60, from Kirkbymoorside was suspended from the school run for six days by North Yorkshire County Council after they said an allegation had been made against him. The council refused to tell him why he was suspended, but a colleague told him he had been seen kissing and cuddling two girls outside a school which he then realised were his daughters, who are nine and 11. More after the cut…
Once officials realised the error, Mr Kemp was reinstated, but he is furious at how he was treated by the council and ‘devastated’ that the accusation was made. He says he can not understand why he was not told what the allegation was, and why he was not interviewed as a matter of urgency which would have given him the opportunity to explain what had really happened.
‘The past six days have been the worst of my life since my father died 35 years ago,’ said Mr Kemp, who runs Crystal Cars in Pickering. ‘I’m personally devastated at the allegation aimed at me. ‘I’ve also lost hundreds of pounds worth of business but even worse than that is that my good reputation, which I have built up over the past twelve years, has been shattered. ‘I’m worried about reprisals from people who think I go round kissing schoolchildren.’
Mr Kemp’s ordeal, which he described as a ‘living nightmare’, began last week when he was telephoned by a council official and told he was being suspended from the school run with immediate effect. He was told that an allegation had been made against him but he could be given no more details. An acquaintance in the taxi trade then told him that it was well known in the Pickering and Malton areas of North Yorkshire that a driver had been suspended after someone had reported seeing him kissing and cuddling two girls outside Pickering Junior School.
‘That’s when the penny dropped,’ said Mr Kemp. He added: ‘I take children to the school from villages up on the Moors but it wasn’t them I was hugging and kissing, it was my own daughters, who are aged nine and eleven and are taken to the school each day by their mother from their home in Malton. ‘We have unfortunately separated and I live in Kirkbymoorside, but they always look out for me and run up for a hug and a kiss when they see me arrive.’
He was reinstated after he was formally interviewed by the council, and the charge was dropped. A North Yorkshire council spokesman said: ‘We have followed the Child Protection Procedures. This matter has now been investigated and found to be false.’