September 2017

Oswestry teacher banned from the classroom for life over online sex talk

A 67-year-old Shropshire teacher has been banned from the classroom after a misconduct panel found him guilty of sexually motivated conduct with young girls.

David Hugh Gideon taught at The Marches School in Oswestry, but the offences happened before he started working there.

The panel heard that Gideon discussed with the mother of a young girl about engaging in sexual activity with the daughter. He was said to have told the mother he would go as far as she wanted him to go.

In Skype and Yahoo Chat messages to other young girls he asked for inappropriate photographs. He also received indecent images of children on his computer and discussed child abuse over his computer with a person he admitted he believed to be a paedophile.

One message was said to have referred to sexual abuse of a nine year old girl.

His actions were said to have been “calculated, motivated and deliberate”.

Gideon had denied all the allegations.

The findings of the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) panel which heard the case in Coventry say he “sought to minimise the severity of his behaviour within his statement to the panel, describing it as ‘nothing more than internet chat’.”

Gideon began teaching at the Oswestry school part time in January 2014.

However, in November 2014 the school was told by Flintshire Social Services that Gideon had been arrested on suspicion of having images of child abuse on his computer or other electronic devices at his home.

His work at the school was terminated December 2014 and he then resigned in January 2015.

The NCTL panel found him guilty on the balance of probabilities of all the allegations against him and that his conduct was “sexually motivated”.

They say he was guilty of communications with children which were “of an abhorrent sexual nature” and amounted to unacceptable professional conduct.

Deputy director of the NCTL, Alan Meyrick said he considered that banning Gideon was “in the public interest.”

He said: “In light of the panel’s findings against Mr Gideon, which involved sexually motivated discussions about child abuse with two adults, receipt of explicit images of child abuse, and sexually motivated discussions online with children (including receipt of images from children), there is a strong public interest consideration in respect of the ongoing protection of children.”

Marches School statement

Following the decision, Marches School headteacher Alison Pearson said: “The matter leading to the initial concern or any other incidents referred to were not connected in any way to the Marches School or any Marches School students.

“The school’s recruitment and safeguarding processes adhere to all government standards.

“As soon as the school was notified by Flintshire County Council the member of staff was suspended and did not return to the school.”