Teacher 'shut pupil in cupboard'

A teacher was due back in court today charged with picking a pupil up by the collar and trousers before depositing the child in a cupboard.

IPSWICH: A teacher was due back in court today charged with picking a pupil up by the collar and trousers before depositing the child in a cupboard.

Michael Becker, of Manningtree Road, Stutton, denied assault by beating when his trial began yesterday at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court.

The alleged incident is said to have occurred on November 10 last year and left the child with redness to the neck and a sore stomach.

Becker is said to have grabbed the child after the pupil kept trying to tell an inappropriate joke despite being told to stop.

Once the youngster had been taken out of the classroom he was dumped in a storeroom, before Becker walked back to rejoin his class, the court heard.

The child was only in the cupboard for a short time before opening the door and getting out.

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The pupil was found huddled by coat pegs by another member of staff.

Magistrates saw a dvd of the youngster's police interview and the child - who cannot be identified for legal reasons - also gave evidence via a video link.

It was said 62-year-old Becker grabbed the top of the pupil's sweatshirt at the back of their neck with one hand, and the waistband of the child's trousers with the other, before carrying them from the room.

At one stage on the way to the cupboard - which had a window in the doors - the youngster said Becker dangled them by the ankle.

The child said: “He came over, picked me up and opened the classroom door and hung me upside down and then threw me in the cupboard.”

The court was told that prior to the alleged incident Becker told the pupil more than once not to continue telling the joke, although the child denied this.

A member of staff, who witnessed the youngster being carried out of the room, said the pupil appeared to want to tell Becker the joke, but the teacher told the pupil to be quiet.

When they saw Becker hauling the child out of the room, they thought he might have been playing around at first, before realising he was not.

They described the pupil as “gagging” when he was taken from the classroom.

Describing finding the child outside near the coat pegs, the staff member said: “I was really shaken. I didn't know how to deal with the situation.”

When asked about the marks on the youngster's neck they said: “It was red all the way round like somebody had strangled (the youngster).”

The trial continues.