Teacher accused of restraining boy by his wrists and then slapping him across the face found not guilty
A deputy headteacher has been cleared of assaulting a pupil. Royden Cope, 63, was accused of restraining the boy by his wrists and then slapping him across the face.
The incident, in March, was witnessed by another teacher at the Lancashire primary school, who gave evidence at Cope’s trial.
But Cope told Blackburn magistrates the pupil was often unruly and slammed his head into his hand during a hysterical outburst. He said the child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was probably the worst behaved pupil he had taught in more than 40 years.
Magistrates found Cope, from Accrington, not guilty of assault. The deputy head will remain on suspension until the school’s headteacher returns from holiday to make a decision on Cope’s future.
The Crown Prosecution Service defended its decision to bring the prosecution, saying: “We made a decision that there was sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and that it was in the public interest to proceed to trial. This was a serious allegation of assault of a pupil by a senior teacher in a position of responsibility and trust.”
“At the end of the prosecution case the defence has the right to argue there is no case to answer but chose not to exercise that right in this trial. After hearing all the evidence from both prosecution and defence, including a witness to what happened, the magistrates decided to acquit Mr Cope. We respect the magistrates’ verdict.”