A pupil held a gun to this teacher's head and then shot him in the face. He says his attacker's punishment was 'farcical'

18th February 2011 at 00:00

A PE teacher shot in the face by a pupil has condemned the "farcical" punishment given to the child whose actions could have been lethal.

The attack on Darren Jones took place last September after the teenage pupil grew angry at being disciplined for not taking part in sports lessons.

Mr Jones, due to return to work next month, said he felt unsupported by magistrates, who placed the 13-year-old on an eight-month referral order and ordered him to pay #163;300 compensation.

The pupil shot Mr Jones, 40, after walking into his office following a PE lesson. The teacher was forced to hide after the attack as the child walked along corridors brandishing the Beretta air pistol. Police found other guns, ammunition, crossbows and knives at his home during the subsequent investigation.

The secondary school in South Wales, which cannot be named for legal reasons, was locked down while police searched for the pupil.

In court, he admitted causing actual bodily harm, and possessing the air pistol with intent to cause fear of violence. Police could not prove he intended to kill Mr Jones, even though they found a writing pad with the words "I'll fucking kill you" in the pupil's handwriting.

Mr Jones told The TES: "The whole experience has been farcical. I've not got over it and I probably never will. No teacher should ever have to experience having a gun held to their head by a pupil."

The teacher said he feels particularly hurt that the pupil's lawyers alleged he had "made" him take part in PE lessons. Mr Jones said he never expected the boy, who had a medical problem with his feet, to join in if he was unwell.

The teacher was changing his shoes after the lesson when the child shot him.

"I heard a bang which sounded like a firecracker. He ran off and I chased him. He aimed the gun at me again. I didn't know it was an airgun," Mr Jones said.

"I was trying to move backwards and forwards around the corridor so he couldn't aim at me. He was still pointing the gun at me. I had nowhere to go, so I went back into the office and shut the door.

"Then I realised I was stuck in that room, while the rest of the class were getting changed nearby. I opened the door and he was still pointing the gun at me.

"I waited, thinking he would go away, but when I opened the door he was still there. I managed to pick up the phone and say, 'I'm shot, get someone down here.'"

After Mr Jones made a complaint, his case is now being examined by the crown prosecutor for Dyfed-Powys.

A CPS spokeswoman said the original charges included possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, but this was dropped after the CPS learnt the youth planned to plead guilty.

She said the CPS believed the "remaining charges would mean the court would hear a full picture of what happened and would have adequate sentencing powers".



Sharon Lewis was left with physical and psychological scars after being jumped on, put in a headlock and pushed to the floor at Woodlands Special School in Nottingham seven years ago.

Her 13-year-old attacker, who had a history of violence, received a one-day temporary exclusion. Miss Lewis was awarded around #163;250,000 in damages, one of the highest sums paid to a teacher.

Caroline Knight had an eight-year battle to win compensation after being left semi-paralysed by a nine-year-old pupil nine years ago.

She was pushed against the edge of a metal filing cabinet by the child while working at Heber Primary in south London. She received a six-figure sum last year.

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