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Ban for jailed gun fanatic

A teacher imprisoned for six months for keeping illegal weapons cannot teach for two years. Tara Fawcett reports

A teacher convicted of possessing illegal guns has been banned from teaching for two years by the General Teaching Council of England.

Borys Dmytrenko, formerly of Copley high school, Stalybridge, in Tameside, Cheshire, was caught following a police raid on his home two years ago.

He was convicted in May 2002 at Derby Crown Court and sentenced to six months imprisonment on two counts, to run concurrently.

Ralph Ullmann, chairman of the GTCE panel, said this week: "The circumstances surrounding the conviction suggest that he has made a conscious decision over a number of years to keep these firearms.

"We regard these offences merit a suitably severe sanction, especially since Mr Dmytrenko has not appeared at this hearing to inform us of his present circumstances or to reassure us that it is appropriate for him to continue as a member of the teaching profession."

The panel heard how police raided Dmytrenko's house in November 2001 as part of a larger operation in Derby. They found a Webley Mark VI.455 calibre revolver and a Browning 9mm self-loading pistol, along with a bag containing ammunition designed to explode on impact.

The haul included exploding cartridges, and modifications had been made to the Browning, which had been fitted with a long barrel.

In sentencing Dmytrenko, Judge Wait had said: "You had two hand guns together with an unsubstantiated amount of ammunition. As a result of the lack of security the guns may have come into the hands of some people who would use them, even if you would not."

He added: "Yours was a deliberate decision to flout the law with which you did not agree."

Presenting officer Stephen Murfitt told the GTCE panel that Dmytrenko was tried alongside others whose homes were raided during the operation.

"The Crown's case was that all of the defendants, to a greater or lesser extent, were gun enthusiasts, even fanatics, who were willing to flout the law to either acquire new guns or hold on to such weapons which they would not otherwise be allowed in other circumstances," Mr Murfitt said.

He added that Dmytrenko had no previous convictions and he admitted having prohibited fire-arms early in the police investigation. "He had led an otherwise good life contributing to his profession through his teaching," Mr Murfitt said.

At a hearing in September the GTCE allowed Thomas Hosty, a primary teacher from Greater Manchester, to continue teaching despite having been jailed for 12 months after police discovered nine handguns in his home.

Hosty, 55, who appeared before the GTCE, taught at Harwood Park primary school in Heywood, Lancashire at the time of his arrest. The two men were caught in the same police investigation.

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