Brit teacher who battered boy with dumbbell avoids jail, gets sacked

Posted By: Staff
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London, May 25 (ANI): The British teacher, who hit an unruly pupil with a dumbbell while screaming, "Die! Die! Die!", has escaped being sent to prison, but he was relieved from his job.

Union bosses accused education chiefs of "lacking compassion" after they sacked Peter Harvey over the assault, which took place when youngsters taunted the science teacher so they could film his reaction.

They claimed Harvey, 50, should be retired on the grounds of ill health after suffering years of mental health issues brought on by pressures in his personal and private life.

The dedicated teacher battered the 14-year-old after dragging him from a classroom when he was pushed too far.

Last month, the father-of-two was cleared of attempted murder or intending to cause the boy serious injury - hailed at the time as "common sense" verdicts by the trial judge.

But Harvey admitted causing grievous bodily harm without intent after hitting the boy with a 3kg dumbbell at All Saints' Roman Catholic School, Mansfield, Notts, in July of last year.

He was on May 24 handed a two-year community order by a judge who described him as "a decent man" who was "far from well" at the time of the incident.

"You are a thoroughly decent man and for well over 20 years you have been a dedicated and successful schoolteacher," the Daily Express quoted Judge Michael Stokes QC as saying as he passed sentence at Nottingham Crown Court.

"The incident was brought about, I have no doubt, by a number of factors combining together and producing in you a quite disproportionate reaction to misbehaviour, abuse and rank disobedience by him and some of his classmates.

"In previous years you would have handled this easily and professionally. But in July of last year you were far from well. You were undoubtedly suffering from depression, stress and a serious lack of confidence," he stated.

Harvey had received medical and professional help and was due another assessment on the day of the attack.

The judge took into account he had spent over eight months in custody - the equivalent of an 18-month jail term - and said it was not necessary to impose any further sentence.

He also accepted that Harvey had sought psychiatric help and had recognised he would need further "assistance".

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the teaching union NASUWT, said she had written to the new Education Secretary calling for urgent talks on the issue of Britain's stressed teachers.

The union is appealing against the decision to sack Harvey and is threatening legal action if it is not overturned.

The subject of his pension will not be addressed until after the outcome of the appeal. (ANI)

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