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Man stole and wore pupils' clothes

Teaching council ban for Cornwall maths teacher who photographed himself in stolen items and failed to disclose convictions. Oliver Luft reports

A teacher who stole pupils' clothes and photographed himself wearing them has been banned from teaching, after it was revealed he had failed to disclose previous convictions when applying for his job.

Alan Reynolds, formerly of Bodmin community college, Cornwall, has been found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct by England's General Teaching Council.

The GTC disciplinary committee, in Birmingham last week, was told that police began investigating Mr Reynolds in May 2000 after receiving reports from former friends that he had stolen from them. His property was raided and police recovered a number of stolen items.

Mr Reynolds told the police the items were given to him as mementos by men with whom he had homosexual liaisons. He said that a pair of shorts and a coat belonged to a man from Birmingham whom he had met and taken back to his caravan.

But the clothes belonged to a pupil at his school and Mr Reynolds later admitted to police that he wore the stolen items while exercising. Police also recovered images from Mr Reynolds's computer of him wearing them.

Clothing belonging to at least four other pupils of the 1,450-pupil specialist science college was also recovered.

Mr Reynolds was convicted at Truro crown court in December, 2003, of six counts of theft for which he was fined and ordered to pay costs.

Mr Reynolds was also given a two-year conditional discharge after pleading guilty to obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception. During the theft investigation it was discovered that Mr Reynolds had failed to disclose a 1995 conviction, lied about his date of birth and exaggerated the length of his naval service to hide a period of unemployment on his job application to the school.

Under normal circumstances his 1995 conviction would have been considered spent, but to work with children he had to declare it.

Mr Reynolds, who had been employed at the school since September 2000, was sacked from his position as a maths teacher for gross misconduct in May 2003.

He did not attend the GTC disciplinary hearing, nor was he represented. He can reapply to the GTC in three years to have his name returned to the teaching register.

Ralph Ullman, chair of the disciplinary committee, said Mr Reynolds's behaviour was fundamentally incompatible with that of being a registered teacher.


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