Rap for teacher drunk in car park

9th September 2005 at 01:00
A teacher who was four times over the drink-drive limit when arrested in a supermarket car park has been reprimanded by the profession's regulatory body. Victoria Lloyd-Jones, 52, had already been sentenced to 180 hours'

community punishment and banned from driving for three years by magistrates after she pleaded guilty to drink-driving.

This week, the maths teacher and head of year at Ysgol Brynhyfryd, Ruthin, told a General Teaching Council for Wales conduct committee how she turned to drink after struggling to cope with her pastoral role.

"I was encountering problems that were more severe than usual, such as children being abused," she said. "I couldn't sleep and that's what started me drinking."

Mrs Lloyd-Jones, a teacher for 31 years, said Denbighshire had axed its counselling service.

A spokesman for the council said it did not comment on individual staff. It has seconded an occupational health officer to provide support to secondary school staff on health and stress management issues.

Police were called to Denbigh's Safeway supermarket on the evening of September 1 last year, and found Mrs Lloyd-Jones in a parked car. She was arrested six hours after a staff training day had finished, with a breath-alcohol count of 142. The legal limit is 35.

Mrs Lloyd-Jones told the hearing, in Ewloe, Flintshire: "From about May last year I was becoming very stressed at work. I saw my GP and was referred to CAIS (an alcohol counselling service).

"I believe I'm cured after undergoing therapy and counselling."

Committee chairman Peter Williams said her behaviour amounted to unacceptable professional conduct. The reprimand will remain on her record for two years.

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