Ban for teacher who sent texts to tragic teen

Anthony Stubbs, 16, who was found dead in Brickfield Wood, Leyland, in January this year
Anthony Stubbs, 16, who was found dead in Brickfield Wood, Leyland, in January this year
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A teacher who sent lewd text messages to a Leyland schoolboy who later killed himself has been banned indefinitely from the classroom.

Iwan Harding, 35, was teaching at a primary school in Glan Conwy, North Wales, when he exchanged messages with 16-year-old Anthony Stubbs.

Despite his previous denials, on Monday members of the Professional Conduct Committee of the General Teaching Council for Wales agreed they were satisfied that Harding had sent Anthony text messages, images and videos of a sexually explicit nature, a number of which during school opening hours.

The panel said his behaviour amounted to unacceptable professional conduct, and they also took into consideration a conviction for drink driving in 2003.

After Anthony, a pupil at Wellfield Business and Enterprise College, went missing from from home in November 2012, messages were retrieved from his mobile phone and some were from Harding. They had met on the Love Leap dating website, on which those who registered are supposed to be at least 18.

The father-of-one from Leyland Lane was found dead in January last year after hanging himself in an area of Brickfield Wood, next to Worden Playing Fields.

It came after he had reportedly argued with girlfriend Charlotte Mason when she became aware from text messages that he was involved in a relationship with men he was meeting through the internet.

A year ago Harding had denied in court that he sent grossly offensive or indecent, obscene messages.

A district judge was about to adjudicate in the case against him but it was dropped at the last minute after the principal legal advisor to the director of public prosecutions advised that it should not proceed. Harding was later awarded costs.

The Professional Conduct Committee imposed a Prohibition Order, indefinitely removing Harding from the Register of Qualified Teachers in Wales.

It also decided he may never make an application for restoration to the Register of Qualified Teachers in Wales.

He has been given 28 days to appeal to the High Court.