Dumbbell attack teacher sentenced
A British teacher who snapped and attacked a pupil who had been goading him with a dumbbell was spared a prison sentence today when he was handed a two-year community order.
Peter Harvey (50), attacked the 14-year-old schoolboy at All Saints’ Roman Catholic School in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, on July 8 last year after repeatedly being taunted by pupils in his science class.
Last month, a jury at Nottingham Crown Court took just an hour to clear Harvey of attempting to murder the boy or intending to cause him serious injury.
The married father of two, who earlier admitted causing grievous bodily harm without intent, bludgeoned the boy with a 3kg dumbbell while shouting “Die, die, die”.
But the jury accepted his barrister’s claims that his pupils had driven him over the edge and he did not know what he was doing when he attacked the boy, now 15 and a known trouble-maker.
It emerged during the four-day trial that pupils at the school were trying to wind up Harvey so his reaction could be caught on a camcorder
In the moments before the attack, one of the boy’s classmates, a girl now aged 15, secretly filmed Harvey telling him to put down a wooden metre-long ruler he was using in a mock sword-fight with another pupil.
The girl can also be heard to encourage other pupils to goad Harvey as the class descended into “uproar”, with students playing volleyball with scrunched up bits of paper and calling the teacher a “psycho”.
One girl even walked up to Harvey and claimed he was having a “mental breakdown”.
The taunting was part of a concerted effort to wind up Harvey so his reaction could be caught on camera and the footage passed around the school in order to “humiliate” the teacher.
Harvey snapped after the boy told him to “F*** off”.
The teacher responded: “I’ll teach you to ‘f*** off’”, before, in actions described “like a man possessed”, he grabbed the boy by the collar and dragged him out of the classroom.
CCTV footage released by Nottinghamshire Crown Prosecution Service following the trial shows the moments pupils crowded around a storeroom opposite Harvey’s class as he hit the pupil twice about the head with the dumbbell.
In the video, the boy - who cannot be named for legal reasons - is lying out of shot, critically injured with a fractured skull. He also lost some hearing in his right ear following the beating.