Devon

Devon black teacher abused by boy and girl

An 11-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl have been convicted of assaulting and racially abusing a black head teacher in Devon.

The pair were "out of control" pupils at a Devon school for problem children, Exeter Youth Court heard.

The boy, from Llanelli, south Wales, denied assaulting Alice Gabbidon and the girl, from Bridgwater, Somerset, denied racially aggravated assault.

The pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will be sentenced later.

Soaked staff

The court heard that Ms Gabbidon had her hair pulled by the girl who also made "monkey noises" and screamed racial abuse at her.

The youth court heard the pair soaked staff with water bombs, squirted washing up liquid into the eyes of a staff member and attacked the head's office.

Prosecutor Beth Heaton said that the school in Dunkeswell, east Devon - which has now shut due to funding issues - catered for a small number of "problem" children and bad behaviour was commonplace.

She said Ms Gabbidon did not use excessive force to restrain the two defendants but she was suspended following the incident last November and a month later the school was closed down.

Defence lawyer Warren Robinson said there was a dysfunctional relationship between the school's management, head teacher and children.

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