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GTC lets convicted stalker remain in the classroom

Harassment charge teacher 'excellent and committed'

Harassment charge teacher 'excellent and committed'

A teacher has been allowed to remain in the classroom despite being convicted of stalking a former girlfriend over the course of last year.

Ian Rhys Williams, who received a General Teaching Council for England reprimand last week, was charged with harassment and breaching a restraining order last November. The conviction followed a string of cautions relating to harassment of a former girlfriend over the course of 2008.

Mr Williams was cautioned by Gloucestershire Police in August 2008 after the maths teacher sent texts to his ex-partner, called at her home and assumed different names to communicate with her on the web. Mr Williams was then handed a conditional discharge for 18 months after damaging her property and her new partner's car.

The teacher was ordered to pay compensation of #163;779.46 plus costs of #163;60 for the damage he caused to the property, the GTC said in a ruling last week.

Mr Williams was again found guilty of harassment in October 2008 and handed another conditional discharge and a restraining order and ordered to pay #163;60 costs.

He breached his conditional discharge in November, yet no action was taken. But less than two weeks later, Mr Williams broke his restraining order and was convicted for harassment. He had to pay a fine of #163;250 and costs of #163;55 and a variation of the restraining order was imposed.

The GTC imposed a reprimand that will remain on the register for two years and said the light sentence reflected Mr Williams' conduct since his conviction.

In a hearing, the GTC said: "Mr Williams has demonstrated insight into his conduct and we were convinced by his expressions of regret. We recognised the period under consideration was short and related to an extremely low point in his personal life.

"Mr Williams has made significant changes to his life to put these matters behind him. Appropriate references and testimonials have been provided. We are mindful of Mr Williams' previous good history and the confidence placed in him by his previous and current employers. There is no evidence Mr Williams has been anything other than an excellent and committed teacher."

Since April, Mr Williams has worked as acting subject leader for maths at the Futures Community College in Essex, a role he will take up permanently from next month.

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