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Ex-con kick-boxer clinches class career

A former British kick-boxing champion who was jailed for a string of violent offences in the 1990s has been allowed to register as a teacher.

A General Teaching Council for Wales panel heard that Julian Konten, 36, has six spent convictions - mostly for serious assaults - at a suitability hearing in Cardiff this week.

But the panel decided he should be allowed to register after hearing that he had turned his life around and was proving to be an inspirational teacher.

Mr Konten (pictured) has been working as a technology instructor at Willows High in Cardiff since last September after training to be a teacher at the University of Wales, Newport.

Despite his convictions, the school offered him a teaching post. But in order to register him as a teacher, the GTCW had to consider whether his violent past - including an assault on a police officer - should bar him from the profession.

Mr Konten has gone to prison twice. In 1994, he was sent down for two years after being convicted of an unlawful wounding charge and two separate offences of assault. In 1998, he was jailed for six months for dangerous driving.

David Evans of NUT Cymru, who was representing Mr Konten, told the panel that several of the offences had taken place while he was in a "tempestuous relationship".

Steve Davies, deputy head of Willows High, told the committee: "He is an inspirational teacher. He is sought out by pupils and does a lot more than he needs to do," he said.

John Collins, GTCW panel chair, said they were satisfied that Mr Konten was not a risk to children, colleagues and parents.

"The offences were serious and at the time of the conviction suggested a propensity toward violence. But he has demonstrated his commitment to the profession and enthusiasm for working with children under difficult circumstances."

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