Teacher cleared of assault after being frogmarched off school for calling a boy 'pathetic’ and making him cry | The Sun

A SUPPLY teacher has been cleared of assault after being frogmarched off school property for calling a boy "pathetic" and making him cry.

Michael Good, from Leigh, was charged with assault of a pupil after his lesson at a Greater Manchester school escalated into a bitter argument – but he was acquitted today.

In the aftermath of the fiery dispute, the fuming teacher was instructed to leave the classroom by the school's deputy headteacher, before he was marched off the grounds by another member of staff.

Mr Good said the complainant – a "troublemaker" and "cheeky chappie" – had infuriated him but he denied the charge of assault.

The quarrel reportedly started when the boy – who had been sat in the front row of the classroom – asked Mr Good if he supported Manchester United.

When the 43-year-old replied that he did, the pupil said that it was "sad" – but Mr Good said he accepted the youngster's behaviour was "jovial" and "brushed off" the jibe.

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The first half of the lesson continued smoothly until the boy – who cannot be named for legal reasons – started to chat with his friend, the court heard.

Mr Good said he asked the youngster to "face the front" and "stop talking" on a number of occasions, but he continued.

Instead, Mr Good claimed he used a whiteboard pen to tap the boy on the shoulder in a last attempt to get his attention.

But this is the moment when the boy accused Mr Good of striking him hard.

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He claimed the impact of the pen left him in pain he could feel for up to an hour, despite wearing a school blazer at the time.

The pupil told the court he had been speaking to his friend "about questions that were set" for the students to answer, but that he saw Mr Good make contact with him from the "corner of my eye".

He added: "It wasn't like really hard but it was, like, a bit."

When the boy began to say "that hurt" in the lesson, Mr Good allegedly called him "stupid" and "pathetic" before "trying to mock" him, he told the court.

This made him feel "angry" and "upset", he said.

Mr Good denied hitting the boy and was eventually acquitted – perhaps because the court heard how the youngster had changed his story of the event.

For example, the boy had not told the first teacher who saw him following the incident, before telling a second teacher Mr Good had 'put his hand on my shoulder' and only later describing it as a hit.

But despite his acquittal, Mr Good has conceded some wrongdoing.

He admitted that he did shout at the youngster and make him feel "embarrassed", telling him was "acting like a loser".

During a police interview, he told officers he had "clocked" the boy as "someone to keep an eye on".

He added that the boy had "intended to frighten him" – having already coughed to pretend he was suffering from Covid.

However, Mr Good told the court he only "raised his voice" at the boy after he had begun falsely suggesting he had been assaulted.

He said the boy had threatened him by saying to his friend he would "tell his dad" about what happened and "get him done for assault".

Mr Good said: "I think he was trying to wind me up and, unfortunately, he succeeded.

"I ended up raising my voice, I called him pathetic and then I mimicked him.

I regret it – I should not have said that to the child

"I regret it – I should not have said that to the child."

The head of department at the school gave evidence to the court, as she was the first teacher to speak to the child after the incident.

She had been teaching in another classroom nearby when she heard Mr Good raise his voice.

This teacher told the court: "I heard a raised voice saying 'shut up, shut up, be quiet, are you stupid?'. It was very firm, very shouty… very condescending."

In response, she visited Mr Good's classroom to see what was going on, the court heard.

There she said she saw the boy "absolutely sobbing" – although the boy claimed he began to cry after he left the classroom.

The head of department suggested Mr Good had a "very angry face" and a "disgusted look".

Mr Good told the court he had carried on teaching for around five minutes until another member of staff arrived and told him to leave.

He said he was not given a chance to tell his side of events as he was escorted from the building.

Summing up her case, prosecutor Eleanor Myers suggested Mr Good was "maybe pushed to his wit's end" at the time of the alleged altercation.

She added: "If he is someone who can snap in the way he did, my assertion is he can snap in other ways and he is not a gentle man."

To this, Mr Good, who has no previous convictions, completely rejected the prosecution's case of assault and even expressed his shock at how far the case had got in the legal system.

"This has been blown out of proportion," he said. "This is crazy that I'm stood here, let me tell you that."

He added: "I am a gentle man, I would never hurt a child. I would tap somebody so light they might not even feel it."

Defending, Craig Hunn insisted the bench "cannot be certain" his client had assaulted the teenager from the evidence given.

He said: "This is not an employment tribunal, it's a criminal court. It is conceded that Mr Good's behaviour was not all that it could be.

"In retrospect he regrets the language he used, he regrets some of his behaviour. But that does not mean that he committed common assault."

Mr Hunn also read a character reference from a member of staff at Great Academy Ashton, where Mr Good is now working as a tutor helping pupils to catch up following the disruption caused by coronavirus.

In the statement, Mr Good was described as an "integral member of the team" with "positive" feedback from staff and students.

The bench acquitted Mr Good, of Midland Close, insisting the evidence from the complainant was "vague and inconsistent".

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