Skip to comments.Teacher who attacked pupil with dumbbell should never have been put on trial, says judge
Posted on 04/29/2010 5:34:25 PM PDT by naturalman1975
A teacher who bludgeoned a disruptive pupil with a dumbbell walked free yesterday when a 'common sense' jury acquitted him in minutes.
Peter Harvey was cleared of trying to kill a 14-year-old boy who told him to '**** off'.
His trial heard how he was targeted by teenagers who knew he had been off work with depression and stress.
The 'fundamentally decent' man snapped when the science class set out to upset him, with a girl - described as the pupils' ringleader - using a camcorder to film the incident so she could distribute it round the school.
Mr Harvey dragged the boy - a persistent troublemaker - into a cupboard and hit him about the head with a 3kg dumbbell shouting 'die, die, die'.
The attack fractured the teenager's skull.
But yesterday a jury swiftly acquitted him of attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Judge Michael Stokes QC told the court 'common sense had prevailed'.
Mr Harvey, 50, had already admitted the lesser count of grievous bodily harm but the judge said he would not be sent to prison.
It was revealed that the judge had already said that the trial should never have been brought because of the teacher's 'previous good character' and his state of mind when he attacked the boy.
Astonishingly, the father-of-two had spent eight months on remand before the trial - despite his own mental state, his wife suffering severe depression and their daughter having Asperger's syndrome.
The judge told him at Nottingham Crown Court: 'You have already effectively served a sentence that is more than the appropriate sentence.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Speaking as a secondary school teacher, while, of course, I cannot condone a serious assault on a student - nor, indeed, any criminal assault - I have to say, if teachers don’t have the authority to discipline students when needed, it can get incredibly frustrating and I’m not surprised sometimes a man can snap.
Not Guilty? Really? He committed an assault and battery upon a child - a problem child, but still a child. This verdict was not justice.
He’d already plead guilty to a charge of inflicting Grievous Bodily Harm on the child. This trial was on more serious charges (including attempted murder).
Mark Steyn mentioned a 14 year old girl who asked to be moved for a project because the other kids at her table only spoke Urdu.
The teacher called the cops. They hauled her to jail and booked her. They sat her in a cell for over 3 hours and interrogated her about her Race Hatred.
But bloody a kid and thats fine.
The Land of Eng does not make sense these days.
Well, let’s see. He was beating the kids head with a metal dumbell and shouting, “die, die, die”. Call me crazy, but that sure sounds like attempted murder to me.
LOL ... it does ... :-)
Gotta agree with you.
There has to be an appropriate level of response. Darn near killing the kid is not an appropriate level of response.
Look folks, every one of us has something that would amount to diminished capacity.
1. My wife and I argued and I was in a terrible state, unable to control myself.
2. I just got fired, and this person just happened along.
3. I just returned to work from a stress related leave, and snapped.
4. I’m not able to meet my bills this month, a collections agent was mean to me, I snapped.
5. I had a hostess twinkie, and I had a sugar rush.
Folks, attempted murder is not excusable. If it were, then every one of us would be subjected to near death experiences involving physical attack and severe life-long injuries.
This teacher should have served two to four years and been barred from being a teacher in the future. It’s obviously not his calling.
As for a bad kid being a good excuse, wow, that sure opens up the field doesn’t it. I dare say a pretty handsome percentage of us have been problem kids at one time or another.
“This verdict was not justice.”
Seems fair to me. The real problem is that liberals have taken away any effective discipline methods that would have been available to head off this kind of class room rebellion. 40 years ago this kid would have had his ass paddled with a cricket bat. Also, notice the lack of a father in this kids life, no discipline at home or school means that this kid is headed for prison in a few short years.
Yes, which is why he was put on trial for it. But the medical evidence was that he was not thinking rationally at the time.
He faced three charges - inflicting Grievous Bodily Harm, inflicting GBH with intent, and attempted murder. The last two require a deliberate intent and conscious decision. The first does not. He plead guilty to the first.
At trial, evidence was presented (most notably the fact that he had sought medical attention previously because he felt he was losing control) which the jury decided showed he was not in his right mind when he committed this offence.
If he had chosen to plead not guilty to the first charge, there’s every chance he would have got off on that one two - basically an insanity defence - but he acknowledged that he shouldn’t have been back in that classroom, he’d chosen to go back, and he felt he was responsible for that decision.
I’m not sure I agree with the verdicts or not. I wasn’t there in the court. But the situation shouldn’t have been allowed to develop and if there’d been effective discipline allowed in that school, it wouldn’t have. And we wouldn’t have a severely injured child, and a convicted criminal who once was a decent teacher.
As a school psychologist I’ve had a larger than normal proportion of troubled kids in my schools this year. A number of my teachers at this point in the school year are extremely stressed dealing with significant behaviors. We are working as hard as we can to come up with interventions - some work, some don’t. But, I would never condone a teacher snapping and physically attacking a student no matter what the reason. This teacher should have cleared the classroom of the other students and called for campus security and/or police.
Ah, now it makes sense. Murder charges in the U.K. are only for those who kill while defending themselves in their own homes.
They don’t have campus security in most English schools, and if he’d called the police, the child might have been arrested, but would have been released with a caution and come back to school the next day knowing that he was absolutely untouchable even if the law became involved.
I am not condoning what this teacher did. But he didn’t have any effective options. His hands had been completely tied. There’s no effective discipline in most English schools now.
Sorry, I call BS. PTSD used once again to shield someone from their behavior. He dragged the student over to the cupboard. He didn’t just pick up something within close approximation and smash the kid in the head once. There was deliberate action on his part, hence intent. He repeatedly hit the kid in the head shouting his mantra of die. Intent. He knew what he was doing. He knew his actions were illegal and wrong. He did it anyway. I can’t speak to England, but diminished capacity is an affirmative defense in the U.S. requiring proof of the diminished capacity. I as a juror would not have bought his act.
Then he should have left the profession. Quit, walked out. No one was making him stay there.
Well, the jury in this case did. Whether they should have or not. And so did the Judge.
Personally, I don’t think much of such defences myself - but I wasn’t there in the court room, so I’m not prepared to say it was wrong.
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