Distress at sex toy gifts

21st July 2006 at 01:00
A married teacher who gave a colleague a pair of pink fluffy handcuffs and chocolate body paint, and admitted inappropriate physical contact with her, has been banned from teaching for two years.

Grenville Smith, who taught at St Mary Immaculate Catholic primary, in Warwick, admitted unacceptable professional conduct to England's General Teaching Council.

The committee heard that Mr Smith persistently made unwanted physical contact with school secretary Victoria Bates over a four-year period.

He also gave her the pink handcuffs before she went away for a weekend with a friend and told her he wanted to see pictures when they returned. At the hearing, Mrs Bates said: "He made life very uncomfortable and stressful for me and would not back off, no matter what I tried to do or say."

Mr Smith started working at the school on a temporary basis in May 2000 and Mrs Bates started as secretary later that year. Mr Smith, who was not present at the hearing due to ill health, admitted the charges through his representative, Cathy Moorhouse.

The committee heard how Mr Smith would often grab Mrs Bates by the waist.

She wrote a letter of complaint about him to the then head. When that head's successor, Robert Gargan, learned of the situation, he began to monitor Mr Smith's behaviour.

Mr Gargan said: "He seemed to want to talk to her at every opportunity and was always following her around the school or visiting her office."

The committee heard that Mr Smith had stormed out of a meeting with Mr Gargan and Mrs Bates to resolve the problem. After this, he began to have persistent health problems and eventually did not return to work.

During his time off, he continued to contact Mrs Bates via text message and phone calls.

Mr Smith was formally suspended on May 28, 2004, and his contract terminated by mutual consent on August 31, 2004.

The GTC heard he suffers from myalgic encephalomyelitis and will not be fit to teach again.

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