Ex-rugby star escapes ban
A professional rugby player-turned-teacher has been given a two-year reprimand following convictions for drink-driving and harassment of his partner.
Jonathan Williams, who played rugby for ten seasons with Bath, Llanelli and Ebbw Vale, admitted unacceptable professional conduct at a hearing of the General Teaching Council for Wales.
The committee, sitting in Cardiff, heard that Mr Williams was convicted in 2007 of a three-year campaign of harassment against his former partner. During this time he slapped, punched and verbally abused her, said presenting officer Huw Roberts.
He was given community and supervision orders, a three-year restraining order and ordered to attend a domestic abuse programme.
Mr Williams was convicted of drink driving in 1996, and then twice again in 2009 along with a conviction for driving without due care and attention. He is serving a 180-hour community service order after receiving a three-year driving ban.
Colin Adkins, representing Mr Williams on behalf of NASUWT Cymru, said the convictions related to acts in his private life and had no impact on his teaching or his working life in school.
Mr Williams told the hearing he had been a cross-country champion and Welsh 1,500m champion, as well as being a successful rugby player, before becoming a teacher to "provide something to the youth of today".
His most recent appointment was at Glyn Derw high school in Cardiff, but he is not currently teaching.
Mr Williams said he had "gone off the rails" after the death of his father in 2008 and felt "extremely embarrassed and ashamed" at his actions, for which he has undergone therapy and counselling.
Committee chairman Peter Williams said that although his behaviour had been "totally unacceptable" and "reprehensible", Mr Williams could return to teaching because it did not take place in school hours or involve pupils.
- Original headline: Shamed ex-rugby star escapes ban despite drink-drive and harassment convictions