September 2006

Head teacher assaulted two pupils

An Aberdeen primary school head teacher found guilty of assaulting two pupils has been fined £750 and placed on the sex offenders’ register.

Catherine Taylor, 46, denied assaulting 10 children over several years.

The head teacher was found guilty of grabbing a boy by his genitals and placed on the sex offenders’ register. Taylor also assaulted a girl.

Sheriff Graeme Buchanan found her not guilty of eight other charges at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and sentence was deferred for reports.

The sheriff said grabbing the boy’s genitals was behaviour designed to shock and humiliate in front of fellow pupils.

He said her actions were unnatural, improper and grossly excessive.

Speaking after the case, the mother of one of the children involved in the trial said: “Taylor got what she deserved.”

As Taylor left court an object was allegedly thrown towards her. There were no injuries.

Grampian Police said a woman had been charged in connection with the incident and a report would be sent to the procurator fiscal.

During the earlier evidence, the boy had said his face went red when Taylor took hold of his genitals.

Taylor told the court the majority of the primary school’s pupils came from stable backgrounds, but a number of children came from home environments that could be described as “chaotic”.

When asked if the allegations were things she would do, she replied: “Never, I would not have done it at all, whether there were children present or not.”

‘Evil intent’

In her closing submission, Depute Fiscal Helen Knipe said what Taylor had done went beyond reasonable force or chastisement.

Andrew Gibb, defending, said some of the witnesses were not credible nor reliable.

He argued that in many of the charges there was no criminal intent and others fell into the category of reasonable chastisement.

Sheriff Buchanan said a prosecution required proof the teacher acted with “evil intent”.

The school is not being named for legal reasons.