Outrage as Cambridge lecturer is readmitted after sexual harassment allegations

Jimmy Nsubuga
Trinity Hall College, Cambridge, United Kingdom - 23 Oct, 2016: A view garden and courtyard inside Trinity Hall College on a bright sunny day, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Trinity Hall has readmitted Dr Peter Hutchinson (Picture: Getty)

A Cambridge lecturer who was removed from his college after being accused of sexually harassing ten students has now been readmitted.

Trinity Hall announced Dr Peter Hutchinson would be allowed back despite the don being suspended in 2017 after breaking a ban that prevented him having direct contact with students.

He had been forbidden to be near students in 2015 following an investigation after several of them accused him of inappropriate incidents in 2014 and 2015.

But Trinity Hall has now said removing his name from the Emeritus Fellows list was a mistake following his retirement from teaching in 2015 and he was automatically eligible for fellow status.

It added a statement claiming Dr Hutchinson would withdraw from college life was incorrect and had not been agreed with him.

Trinity College said in a statement: “In line with the rights and privileges afforded to Emeritus Fellows of the College, Dr Hutchinson will continue to attend certain College events and to exercise his dining rights, but will not attend events primarily aimed at students or alumni except by agreement with the College.”

Dr Peter Hutchinson,director of studies in modern and medieval languages at Trinity Hall College, Cambridge arrives at Cambridge Crown Court to
Dr Peter Hutchinson, former director of studies in modern and medieval languages at Trinity Hall College (Picture: PA)

Several Cambridge students, who waived their right to anonymity to speak out, have slammed Trinity Hall’s decision to allow Dr Hutchinson to return.

Graduate Sophie Newbery, 23, who accused the former modern and medieval languages lecturer of offering to kiss her on her birthday, said it had taken courage for complainants to speak out and the decision was “a slap in the face”.


Teenager dies after crashing car while being chased by police

Serial killers Myra Hindley and Rose West had affair in prison, solicitor claims

Head teacher of illegal Islamic school which encourages parents to hit children vows to stay open

Ms Newberry, who also claimed Dr Hutchinson asked a female student if she was turned on by discussion of a dominatrix in a book, told the BBC: “It feels like they never took our complaint seriously and never cared as, one year after graduating, they’ve snuck him back in.”

The former student, who studied German and Russian until last year, also accused the lecturer of asking students if they’d “sleep [their] way to the top” while they were watching a film during a movie night at his house.

A Trinity Hall spokesman told the BBC the college took student welfare very seriously.

He said: "We recognise we have more to do, and will continue to listen to and work with our students on how we can improve our approach to handling sexual misconduct."

Dr Hutchinson had stayed on in an advisory role following his retirement in 2015.