Teacher who punched pensioner can teach again

24th September 2010 at 01:00
Classroom career back on track after suspended jail sentence

A primary school teacher who punched a 76-year-old man in the face in a road-rage incident is being allowed to return to the classroom.

Steven Evans, who has taught at various schools in Neath Port Talbot and Swansea, was given a suspended prison sentence in August 2009 after being convicted of battery.

Last week he was found guilty of unprofessional conduct at a General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) disciplinary hearing.

Although committee chairman Tim Cox said Mr Evans's actions had damaged the standing and reputation of the teaching profession, he was only given a two-year reprimand, allowing him to continue his teaching career.

Lousha Bryl, presenting the case for the GTCW, said Mr Evans's victim Henry Cunningham was driving through Swansea in December 2008 when his van was undertaken a number of times by a green Ford Focus.

After three miles the Focus pulled in front of Mr Cunningham's van, forcing it to stop, and Mr Evans got out.

She said Mr Evans approached the driver's side window, "waving his arms about and shouting", and punched Mr Cunningham in the jaw, knocking out a tooth.

He then grabbed the keys from the ignition and threw them in the back of the van before returning to his car and driving off.

Mr Evans, who did not attend the hearing, told his criminal trial that he followed the van after it nearly hit him and almost forced him off the road.

He admitted shouting and waving at the driver and taking his keys from the ignition but strongly denied punching him.

At Swansea county magistrates' court, Mr Evans was found guilty of battery and given a seven day prison sentence suspended for three months and a three-month supervision order, all of which were later doubled after an unsuccessful appeal.

He was also ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid community work, to pay Mr Cunningham pound;100 and to pay pound;500 legal costs.

Mr Evans said his actions were in "poor judgment" and "totally out of character" and he was "devastated" by the claims against him. Character references from some of Mr Evans's former headteachers said he was an "above-average teacher" with a "caring nature" who was "reliable", "well- prepared" and "enthusiastic".

But Ms Bryl told the hearing: "He has a propensity for violence and aggression.

"He never admitted assaulting the victim, which suggests a propensity for dishonesty."

Mr Cox said that although Mr Evans's behaviour had been "reprehensible", it did not occur within school time or involve pupils, and he had shown a degree of insight and regret.

Reprimand: Insults fly

A teacher who called a pupil a "wanker" and allowed children to play poker in school has been reprimanded by the GTC for England.

Michael Jeffery, who worked at John Hampden Grammar School in High Wycombe, Bucks, was also found guilty of being offensive to other members of staff, and to pupils.

The biology teacher told a pupil he had to do a test "because he was brown", called another a "prat" and told another boy he had a "big body and a small brain".

  • Original headline: Road rage driver who punched pensioner allowed to teach again

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