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