Ex Highcliffe school teacher in court facing child sex charges

Parents and governors at a Dorset school have been left shocked after a teacher appeared in court to face charges of sexually abusing girls. The 10 charges relate to a period when Adam Gutteridge worked at Highcliffe School near Christchurch, before he moved to London and became the star of a high-profile TV advert. It is not known whether the charges relate to his work as a teacher. The 38-year-old has appeared at Bournemouth Magistrates Court with charges relating to girls aged 14 to 17. Parents received a letter on Friday from Highcliffe School headteacher Judith Potts to tell them about the allegations. “My son was taught by him and he is really surprised about the allegations,” said one mum. The woman, who asked to not be named, added: “They really liked Mr Gutteridge and he was very popular. “I’m upset and my son thought he was a very good teacher. “I was really shocked to get the letter.” Gutteridge, who is now of Earlsfield Road in South London, was a maths teacher at the school from September 2002 to August 2007. He faced 10 charges dating from January 2005 to June 2007 and has not yet entered a plea. A total of eight counts relate to girls aged 14 and 15. They include intentionally touching 14 and 15-year-olds, causing or inciting a 15-year-old to engage in sexual activity and asking a 15-year-old to send photographs via the internet. He faced two counts of abusing a position of trust by intentionally touching 16 and 17-year-olds. Gutteridge is a member of the comedy trio The Wogans and appeared as a superhero with the ability to change He has also worked as a composer on a radio comedy show for the BBC. He has been told to appear at Bournemouth Crown Court on August 20. Myra Mawbey,a school governor and councillor at Christchurch Borough ouncil, is a former teacher and said there was to be a governor’s meeting this week. “I’m shocked to hear about a teacher being in court,” she said. Highcliffe councillor John Lofts, also a school governor, said he backed the letter sent by the head teacher. Headteacher Judith Potts wrote the letter to parents informing them that Adam Gutteridge had been in court. She wrote: “I am writing to inform you that one of our former teachers has been charged with several serious offences. “Mr Adam Gutteridge worked at Highcliffe School between September, 1 2002 and August 31, 2007 before moving to London. Mr Gutteridge has had no further involvement with Highcliffe School since that date. He has been charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse against teenage girls from his time in Dorset. “The school has been cooperating fully with the police and Dorset County Council’s safeguarding unit on this matter. “Mr Gutteridge appeared at an initial hearing at Bournemouth Magistrates Court on June 7 2012 when a ‘no plea’ was entered. “If I can be of further assistance regarding any concerns you may have, please do not hesitate to contact me.” If you have been subject to abuse then please contact us in the strictest of confidence Dharles Derham crd@verisona.com 02392492472

Lisa has specialised in childhood abuse and social care negligence for the last 8 years and has extensive experience in relation to civil abuse litigation, CICA claim maximisation and Redress Scheme claims. She offers a sympathetic and professional approach to her clients’ problems and advises on funding options (including insurance and Conditional Fee Agreements.)

Since 2018 she has travelled around the country to see clients who were failed by Lambeth Council during their childhood in order to collate evidence for submission to the Lambeth Children’s Home Compensation Scheme. Lisa’s style of working is tailored to providing emotional support whilst applying the specialist legal expertise required to ensure her client’s have the best evidence for making a successful claim.

Lisa is able to access key psychiatric and social care experts to obtain evidence and therapy recommendations for clients. She can direct clients to treatment providers if required. Often such treatment costs can be claimed as part of the compensation process. This is a priority to ensure her clients have the best opportunity to make positive steps into the future. Lisa excels in applying questions to psychiatric experts to clarify and ensure they have a deeper understanding of the case issues where required. She is also experienced in negotiation to maximise outcome according to specific scheme terms.

For the last year and half, Lisa has been leading the firm’s participation in the National Abuse Inquiry specifically relating to the IICSA Lambeth investigation acting on behalf of 6 core participants. Such work involved the preparation of core participant applications, section 40 funding applications, detailed consideration of social care record evidence, witness statements preparation, attending preliminary hearings for consideration on the extent of other key party involvement, detailed work on documentary disclosure evidence from the council, police and other core participants to identify deep seated failings within the past care and policing systems, cross referencing, and work with counsel on composing Rule 10 questioning of corporate and police witnesses giving evidence at the IICSA Lambeth hearing. Lisa also accompanied a key core participant giving evidence to the IICSA hearing providing support and understanding to ensure her client’s evidence was sensitively taken into account when the panel make recommendations to protect children in the future. Questions were raised on the effectiveness of the current Serious Case Review system and how this has been operating within police and council’s across the country, something which has also been identified whilst working on specific civil cases. The hope is that improvements in the child protection mechanisms can ensure the safety of children in future.

Lisa also specialises in CICA claims, an area of work which has increased significantly following the lifting of the pre 1979 same home abuse rule which facilitated many victims being able to finally achieve justice relating to serious childhood abuse.

Lisa also has extensive particular experience in running civil claims relating to foster carer abuse, abuse in private/public/approved school institutions, church abuse, and abuse linked to gymnastics.

Her extensive knowledge of the Civil Procedure Rules, skills in evidence gathering and analysis of liability and causation, and experience in risk assessment and settlement negotiation make her a valuable asset to clients and colleagues alike.

Lisa has more than 20 years’ experience of dealing with Personal Injury matters ranging from road traffic accidents to workplace injury and liability.

Lisa is fluent in German and Persian. She also has experience in Civil Litigation regarding Debt Recovery, Breach of Contract, and Insolvency Law

Client testimonials

"Lovely, friendly, great people. Very understanding too and very good at what they do. Very happy with the result, many thanks again Lisa and everyone involved in my case."

"I would like to express my profound heartfelt gratitude to Lisa Gafarov for all her hard work and understanding when representing me. She fought passionately for my case for two years.

Within this time, never once did I feel it was about the money for her. She was very considerate and dealt with many personal matters in a caring and professional way. It was a very sensitive case but she put in a lot of hard work and went the extra mile each time. Her wide range of expertise was indispensable during this difficult time. Because of this I trusted all her advice and as a result, this took a lot of pressure off of me.

She managed to reach a very amicable conclusion between the defendants and myself. You don’t know how much your passion impacts the lives of others. For this I am forever grateful. I would recommend your firm a hundred times over."
Anonymous, April 2019

Lisa studied ‘Contract Law, European Law and Employment Law’ as part of her degree in BA (Hons) Business Administration. She has also studied other business subjects, including accounting.

Having completed her degree, Lisa started work for Verisona Law in November 1999 in the Personal Injury department as a Trainee Litigation Clerk and since then has developed extensive skills in relation to personal injury litigation and case preparation.

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Accidents at work
  • Slip and trip claims
  • Occupier’s liability claims
  • Product Liability claims
  • Industrial disease claims
  • Work related upper limb disorder claims
  • Clinical negligence, including amputation claims
  • Cosmetic surgery claims
  • Abuse claims

"Thank you for all your much appreciated hard work. I will truly never forget your kindness towards me. Your patience, respect and understanding at all times was beyond words. The sincere compassion shown meant more to me than words could ever express. This firm will forever hold a special place in my heart."


Make an