Drink-driving, assault and theft sees teacher face two-year school ban

4th September 2009 at 01:00
GTC suspension for Dorset educator as criminal past catches up with him

A teacher from Dorset has been suspended from the profession for two years after he was convicted of drink-driving and theft, as well as being cautioned for two cases of assault relating to "domestic incidents" with his ex-wife.

Martin Clark, who was not working as a teacher at the time, was found guilty of theft in September 2005, relating to an incident that took place on August 23 that year. He stole a CD and a DVD from a Virgin Megastore and was fined pound;50, with costs of pound;35.

But the theft was just the last in a long line of criminality, which started when Mr Clark was found guilty of drink-driving on March 26, 2003. He was banned from sitting behind the wheel for two years and ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling pound;350.

In 2004, Mr Clark was cautioned for the two cases of common assault. A year later he was given a one-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay pound;200 compensation and pound;34 costs after being found guilty of criminal damage also related to a domestic incident with his ex-wife.

Mr Clark then breached the conditions of his discharge just nine months later, but no action was taken by East Dorset Magistrates Court.

The General Teaching Council for England (GTC) said it was only now imposing its ban on the teacher because the case only came before it in January 2008. The investigation committee reviewed the case in December 2008 and only then decided there should be a hearing.

The GTC said it had considered whether to conclude the case with just a reprimand, but decided that that would not "sufficiently reflect the seriousness of the allegations".

A conditional registration order was considered, but it was felt that this would not address the concerns raised in the case, so it imposed a suspension order of two years.

The committee said: "This order is proportionate and appropriate, given the seriousness of the case. Mr Clark has been guilty of both unacceptable professional conduct and the conviction of relevant offences.

"His actions could bring the profession into serious disrepute and we are aware of our duty to uphold the standards of the profession."

Mr Clark was not present at the hearing.

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