A FORMER Worcester teacher accused of rape was told that his texts amounted to a ‘confession’ - but he says he was going along with the alleged victim's 'false' account to stop her committing suicide.

Michael Leydon faced his second day in the witness box at Worcester Crown Court yesterday where he repeatedly denied the two rapes he is accused of committing in 2014, one said to have taken place in Weymouth and the other in Worcester. The 61-year-old former teacher at Nunnery Wood High School had texted the complainant, telling her ‘you said last night that I should have stopped on the night I took advantage of you – believe me I wish I had’.

The prosecution case is that these texts refer to the rapes, including one in which he says his actions were ‘totally disgusting’ and ‘the result of drink tablets, and stress’. In another message he wrote: "I’m sorry for what I did to you – you know I will never do it again."

The semi-retired teacher and former school governor now of Westleigh Gardens, Worthing, also wrote: “What I did to you was my fault, albeit I did it on a cocktail of alcohol, sexual frustration and depression.”

Examined by his barrister, Robert Tolhurst, Leydon said the sex was ‘consensual’ and told the jury he had been on a mental health training course and had been trying to ‘reassure’ and ‘placate’ the complainant and be 'non-judgemental'.

When it was put to the father-of-three that the texts might be seen as evidence of him ‘essentially confessing’, the defendant said : “No - I didn’t do anything to her. I know how it looks.”

Leydon, who left Worcester in October 2017, told his barrister: “I was telling her what I thought she wanted to hear.” But he added: “I did not do it.” Sometimes raising his voice a little, he repeated: “I did not rape her.”

He said he was aware the complainant had been raped as a child and that ‘nobody believed her’ and that ‘she wanted to be believed’. “I was reflecting back what she was telling me” he said.

Leydon, who has no previous convictions, reprimands, cautions or warnings, told the jury: “I didn’t want her to commit suicide.”

James Dunstan, prosecuting, said in his closing speech: “In a sense the text messages are a black and white record of what was said and how it was said.

“They contain a confession.” The trial continues.