A former Salmestone primary teacher has been barred from the profession after being charged and then convicted of possessing extreme pornographic images of intercourse/oral sex with an animal.
Gavin Marsh, who has worked at the Margate primary since 2014 but had not been on the premises since February 2021 and was officially sacked in February last year, had received a two-year conditional discharge after pleading guilty to the charges at a court hearing in in December 2021.
A professional conduct panel of the Teaching Regulation Agency considered allegations of unacceptable professional conduct and/or conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute at a hearing on March 22 with the findings published yesterday (March 31)
The former PE teacher did not attend.
The panel heard that on 9 February 2021, the police contacted the school and informed it that Mr Marsh had been arrested. That month was the last point he was on school premises.
On 21 October 2021, the police informed the school that Mr Marsh had been charged with possession of extreme images. On 3 December 2021, Mr Marsh was convicted of the charges relating to images downloaded on or before November 5, 2020.
During the school’s disciplinary hearing, the 33-year-old said he used a ‘chat app’ to talk to friends that live abroad and met people online with similar interests such as sports.
From this, he said he got invited to groups which shared different things. He claimed he would not play an active role in the groups but would be removed and later added back into the group.
The panel noted the allegations took place outside the education setting and there were no safeguarding concerns in relation to children but concluded Mr Marsh was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.
The Secretary of State also issued a prohibition order with immediate effect and with no provision to be reviewed.
This means that Gavin Marsh is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.