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Teacher in air gun fray is barred

A teacher who pointed an air gun at a police officer has been banned from teaching for at least two years. Matthew Falk, had taught chemistry at Tendring technology college at Frinton, Essex, but was not working at the time of the incident.

England's General Teaching Council disciplinary committee, heard that he was convicted in April this year at Chelmsford Crown Court of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and possessing a firearm without a certificate.

The incident happened on July, 2004, when he called police to his home to report youths causing a nuisance.

Mr Falk, who is battling with an alcohol problem, pointed a loaded firearm at a police officer when his call was answered and he was subsequently arrested.

Mr Falk admitted the allegations and said he is now undergoing rehabilitation and is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

He said that he had received positive feedback from his head of department before he left his school and described an incident when a bus got stuck under a low bridge and he helped pupils to safety.

The committee held that the conviction constituted a relevant offence and told Mr Falk he must be able to prove he has conquered his problem before teaching again. Anthony Handley, committee chairman, said: "We are concerned about your dependence on alcohol and we believe that the incident was very serious. But we have been very impressed with your conduct since the offence."

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