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Road-rage teacher can work again

A teacher who punched a pensioner in the face during a road-rage attack was this week told by England's General Teaching Council that he can carry on working.

A professional conduct committee heard how Kevin Tubb attacked 61-year-old Brian Murphy in Pheasey in Walsall, West Midlands, two years ago. Mr Murphy needed 15 stitches to his face.

Sarah Page, presenting officer, said that Mr Tubb, then aged 34, struck the pensioner after he had apparently cut the teacher up in his car.

She described how Mr Murphy had driven along the road with Mr Tubb following behind, before pulling over to let him pass. But Mr Tubb also pulled over, assaulted the pensioner inside and outside his car causing him to fall to the ground, and then drove away.

Mr Murphy was taken to hospital where he had 15 stitches to cuts to his face.

Five days later Mr Tubb was arrested and admitted to police that he had struck Mr Murphy at least three or four times.

He pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and was given a 150-hour community punishment order and ordered to pay pound;2,500 compensation and pound;400 costs when he appeared in crown court in August 2002.

Following his arrest the father-of-one was suspended from teaching business and information technology at Bournville secondary school in Birmingham, where he had worked since April 2001.

He was issued with a final written warning following a disciplinary hearing, but was later allowed to return to work.

Mr Tubb, who represented himself at this week's hearing, said that he recognised that his own "appalling behaviour" constituted unacceptable professional conduct.

But he asked the committee to take into consideration the pressure he was under because of his school duties and serious medical problems affecting members of his family.

"I had a rational decision to make," he said, "to drive on or to get out of my car and I lost it as soon as I got out of the car.

"I am forever mindful of the damage I have caused. My actions have had many repercussions, it laid great pressures on my family who were already coping under extreme circumstances. I have let down the kids, the school and the profession."

Ruth Harker, head of Bournville school, said in a letter that Mr Tubb was an "excellent member of staff and a first-class colleague who we would be very sorry to lose."

Mr Tubb was issued with a reprimand which will remain on the register for two years.

Sarah Bowie, panel chairman, said the panel had taken into consideration Mr Tubb's admission of guilt and his remorse over the incident.

GTC progress report Friday magazine 6

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