Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bradford court hears teacher and assistant 'taped pupil to chair'

Rachael Regan and Deborah McDonald
Image caption Rachael Regan and Deborah McDoncald are accused of causing wilful cruelty

A teacher and a classroom assistant taped a seven-year-old pupil to a chair and shut her in a storeroom during a five-month campaign of bullying, a court has heard.

Rachael Regan, 43, and Deborah McDonald, 41, "singled out and bullied" the pupil at a school in the Calderdale area, Bradford Crown Court was told.

Both women, from Halifax, deny causing wilful cruelty.

Jurors heard other staff members had witnessed some of the incidents.

The court was told that teacher Ms McDonald, of Birks Hall Terrace, and teaching assistant Mrs Regan, of Cousin Lane, Illingworth, stuck post-it notes to the child's thumbs, tied her shoes on with string, kicked her chair and hid her doll.

An investigation was launched by the school and police after the girl told her mother a teacher had tied her to a chair with sticky tape so that she could not move.

Prosecutor Simon Waley said: "She said that Mrs Regan put it all around the chair and it was hard breathing. She said that she couldn't get out to reach her things. She said that the whole class were laughing."

'Jointly responsible'

He said a support assistant said the girl's arms were "fastened down by her sides with the [sticky tape] around her more than once". The court heard she was taped to the chair for about 10 minutes.

The assistant said Mrs Regan went to another classroom to fetch a teaching assistant to show her what she had done, the prosecutor said.

He told the court another member of staff had witnessed some incidents against the pupil.

He said: "[The staff member] felt that [the girl] was being singled out and bullied by these defendants on a regular basis."

Ms McDonald and Ms Regan are jointly responsible for what happened to the girl, Mr Waley told the jury.

He said: "These were not episodes of fun but rather a course of conduct amounting to cruelty."

The trial continues.

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