As­sis­tant bent back fin­gers of pupil in ‘loss of tem­per’

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS - Ian Lewis @IanLewis80 [email protected]­ 07790 591150

A TEACH­ING as­sis­tant bent back the fin­gers of a pupil at a Car­marthen­shire school in a “mo­men­tary loss of tem­per” a court has heard.

David Ash­ley Pow­ell de­nied the charge of as­sault against the child, but was found guilty at a mag­is­trates court trial in Llanelli ear­lier in April.

Pow­ell, aged 26, of Ynys Las, Llanelli, was back in court for sen­tenc­ing on Thurs­day, April 4.

Pros­e­cu­tor Vaughan Pritchard Jones said the trial heard Pow­ell had been in­volved in a ver­bal al­ter­ca­tion with the child be­fore bend­ing his fin­gers back­wards.

Mr Vaughan added: “The pupil had been put to sit on a chair in a cor­ri­dor and al­lowed to charge his mo­bile phone.

“There was some to-ing and fro-ing be­tween the pupil and the de­fen­dant with the plug be­ing turned on and off.

“The boy said the de­fen­dant then took hold of him and bent his fin­gers back­wards caus­ing him to say ‘ow’, which amounted to the as­sault.”

Mr Vaughan added: “It was a two sec­ond in­ci­dent and no in­jury was caused.”

De­fence so­lic­i­tor Christo­pher Evans said Pow­ell was of pre­vi­ous clean char­ac­ter, adding he had ex­pe­ri­enced other dif­fi­cul­ties at the school on the day.

He added: “My client main­tained at trial and is still of the opin­ion that the as­sault didn’t take place but ac­cepts he has been con­victed by this court.”

Mr Evans added: “At trial he gave an ac­count of his move­ments on that day and had been in­volved in a num­ber of mat­ters and wasn’t in the cor­ri­dor.”

Mr Evans added: “He was will­ing to go above and be­yond in his job and it has to be ac­cepted it is not an easy job, it can be stress­ful.

“As a re­sult of this case the like­li­hood is that he will lose his job and this will af­fect his fu­ture job prospects which is per­haps the great­est pun­ish­ment in this case.”

Ahead of sen­tenc­ing, a re­port was car­ried out by the probation ser­vice which was pre­sented by probation of­fi­cer Tim Jones, who said: “There was a breach of trust and phys­i­cal harm to a pupil.

“He is in de­nial and there­fore can­not ex­press re­morse for the in­ci­dent.”

In pass­ing sen­tence, dis­trict judge Christo­pher James said: “It is clear from the trial that took place that you had a mo­men­tary loss of tem­per.

“After a ver­bal ex­change you took hold of his fin­gers and bent them back­wards.

“This of­fence was out of char­ac­ter and ag­gra­vated by other cir­cum­stances you faced that day in what was clearly a chal­leng­ing role.”

Pow­ell was given a 12-month com­mu­nity or­der and must com­plete 200 hours of un­paid work.

In ad­di­tion he must pay £620 prose­cu­tion costs plus an £85 vic­tim sur­charge.

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