Teacher who punched pensioner can teach again
A primary school teacher who punched a pensioner in the face in a road rage incident has been given permission 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 disciplinary hearing in Cardiff.
Although committee chairman Tim Cox said Mr Evans' 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 76-year-old 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 on the jaw, knocking out a tooth. He then grabbed the keys from the ignition and threw them in the back of the van before driving off.
Mr Evans, who did not attend the hearing, said during 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 in August last year 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 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' 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' behaviour had been "reprehensible", it did not occur within school time or involve pupils, and he had shown insight and regret.
- Original headline: Road-rage teacher who punched pensioner gets his career back on track