Court hears teacher was assaulted whilst taking pupils to hockey pitch

Court hears teacher was assaulted whilst taking pupils to hockey pitch

A TEACHER taking pupils to a hockey pitch was grabbed and pushed against a gate by the father of an ex-student, Downpatrick Magistrates Court was told on Monday.

Ivor Wilkinson (52), of Richardson Street in Belfast, admitted assault relating to Wednesday June 2 this year.

A prosecutor said around 12.30pm police received a call from Saintfield High School saying the father of an ex-pupil had assaulted a staff member outside the school grounds.

When police arrived at the scene they were told Wilkinson had left the area.

A teacher told police what whilst walking a Year Ten class to Saintfield hockey pitches at Comber Road a man approached and "aggressively" said he was an ex-pupil's "f-cking father and I don't like your school's policies".

The prosecutor said at that point the teacher realised it was Wilkinson, the father of a "past pupil who left a few weeks earlier".

The court was told the children were moved away by a classroom assistant but they were "still able to witness the incident".

The prosecutor said the teacher alleged that Wilkinson grabbed his shirt at his shoulders with both hands and pushed him back until his back was against a gate at the hockey pitch.

The court heard the teacher told the defendant he was phoning police and Wilkinson then left, walking in the direction of Saintfield town centre.

The prosecutor said it appeared that earlier the defendant had appeared at the front of the school "demanding entry" but the door was locked.

When interviewed Wilkinson admitted assault.

A defence lawyer said the defendant has "serious mental problems" for which he had upped his medication.

The added: "He didn't fully understand exactly the rules and regulations about the school."

The defence lawyer said Wilkinson, who appeared before court via a video link from his solicitor's office,  wished to apologise to the teacher and the court.

The court heard the defendant is on Universal Credit and District Judge Amanda Brady said she was tailoring the fine to his ability to pay.

Wilkinson was fined £75 and ordered to pay £75 compensation to the teacher.

The judge said she was also putting in place a two year Restraining Order "to give that particular teacher peace of mind".

  • Main image: Saintfield High School. Picture: Google Maps.