South West Wales

Teacher banned for sending sexual messages to pupils

Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, Llandeilo Image copyright Nigel Davies/Geograph
Image caption Clarke sent the messages to three pupils at Ysgol Bro Dinefwr in Llandeilo

A Carmarthenshire teacher who sent thousands of sexual messages to three pupils has been banned from teaching for five years.

Christopher Clarke, 29, contacted girls, aged 15 and 16 at the time, via Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter.

He also bought the Ysgol Bro Dinefwr pupils gifts including T-shirts, earrings, sweets and games consoles.

An Education Workforce Council hearing concluded his actions amounted to professional misconduct.

One girl told how Mr Clarke sent her a message saying: "I kept having the same thought over and over again. How much I wanted to grab you, kiss you..."

'Creepy nature'

The girl, now 19, said he also invited her to one-on-one sessions in his chemistry office and told her not to show anyone the gifts her gave her.

Another girl, now 17, said his actions made her feel uncomfortable and he was "acting in a creepy nature".

A third student said she told Mr Clarke she thought his messages were inappropriate and he later asked her to delete their conversation.

Police investigated but no charges were brought against Mr Clarke.

The school also began an investigation but he resigned before any findings were made.

Education Workforce Council chairman, Steve Powell, said Mr Clarke's conduct "clearly breached boundaries between teachers and pupils".

"His actions fell very short of the standards expected of a registered person and amounted to unacceptable professional conduct," he added.

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