Teacher fined for pupil assault

A TEACHER who grabbed one of his pupils by the collar and trousers before stuffing him into a cupboard has been fined �1,500 this morning.

A TEACHER who grabbed one of his pupils by the collar and trousers before stuffing him into a cupboard has been fined �1,500 this morning.

Michael Becker, of Manningtree Road, Stutton, was convicted of assaulting the child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at his trial at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court earlier this month.

This morning Becker was fined �1,500 and ordered to pay �1,875 costs.

Chairman of the magistrates Peter Page told him: “You have, by a serious error of judgment, already brought upon yourself more punishment than this court can impose.”

His trial heard that the 62-year-old had been a teacher for 31 years with no previous incidents to his name until last November.

Described as an “exemplary” teacher by a former colleague, Becker said the allegations had “shattered” his world.

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The incident happened after Becker repeatedly asked the pupil to stop telling a “racist” joke in his classroom.

He grabbed the child at the back of their sweatshirt with one hand and the waistband of the child's trousers with the other before carrying them out of the room.

Giving evidence, Becker's former head teacher and long-standing friend described him as “one of the most passionate, enthusiastic teachers I have ever known.”

Roland Gooding, who worked with Becker from 1990 to 1992, said: “His conduct was exemplary, since I have known him I have always found him to be extremely compassionate, caring, dedicated, honest and of the upmost integrity.”

Returning their guilty verdict magistrates said none of the evidence put forward to them amounted as a defence.

“We do not believe the pupil at any time was held by the ankles or dropped on the floor. The precise reason for the removal from your classroom is irrelevant.

“We are satisfied there was a reason but not that you used reasonable force. Use of any force should be a used as a last resort - in this case it wasn't.

“None of the evidence put forward amounts to a defence. It amounts to battery and you are guilty as charged.”

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