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Former Cowes Enterprise College teacher Graeme Bell of Coronation Road, Cowes appeared before the Isle of Wight Magistrates Court this morning (Monday) having been found guilty of assaulting a pupil.

Bell, 46, was found guilty at trial earlier this year of assaulting a child with special needs whilst under his care on a residential field trip in 2018.

The court heard how the teacher of 18 years grabbed the child – who cannot be named for legal reasons – by the shoulders before dragging them 4 to 6 metres towards a nearby tree. Bell then pushed the pupil to the ground.

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A colleague of Mr Bell’s witnessed the incident and described him as going ‘crazy mental’.

Bell’s defence lawyer, Miss Chapman, said that the incident was out of character and an isolated incident. She said that her client was of previous good character and acted in a ‘moment of madness’. She explained how he had lost his job and would most likely never work with children again. Miss Chapman said Bell ‘deeply regrets’ his actions.

Bell no longer works at Cowes Enterprise College and instead works in a warehouse for 37 hours a week.

Magistrates sentenced Bell to a 12 month community order and 100 hours of unpaid work. He must also pay £400 costs with a £85 surcharge.

A spokesperson for Cowes Enterprise College has told Island Echo:

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“Clearly the behaviour of this former member of our staff was absolutely unacceptable and has no place in any school.

“The safety and wellbeing of our students is always our number one priority and we have robust safeguarding procedures in place to ensure this. As soon as this incident happened, we suspended the member of staff involved and informed all relevant authorities.

“He has since been dismissed following a disciplinary hearing.”

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