Ex-army teacher struck off for misconduct


AN EX-army teacher who shocked pupils and staff at a Scottish high school by talking about sex, prostitutes and killing people has been struck off.

John Villiers’s outbursts were so shocking that one teacher at Govan High School, Glasgow, thought he must be suffering from post traumatic stress.

Former pupils said the Maths and Travel and Tourism teacher “always turned the conversation towards sex” in the classroom.

Villiers, 43, was barred from teaching after facing a catalogue of charges at a hearing of the General Teaching Council for
Scotland(GTCS) today.

Charges including swearing at pupils, using inappropriate language, throwing a duster at a pupil, baring his chest in the classroom, and saying he killed people when in the armed forces, were all found proved by the hearing panel.

In evidence read out by solicitor Gregor Smith, representing the GTCS, a 13-year-old female pupil said: “He always turned the conversation towards sex.

“I remember a time when we were playing the card game Switch during a free-period in Mr Villiers class.

“I said that the cards were sticky and Mr Villiers said ‘That’s what happens when the boys play with themselves.”

Another female pupil said Villiers discussed having sex with prostitutes and whores. She added: “He was weird and creepy.”

The GTCS hearing panel heard that Villiers was violent, used inappropriate language, discussed sexual activity and spoke of killing people when he was a member of the armed forces.

The hearing heard that Villiers often played ‘Big Balls’ by AC/DC during class-time,  singing the lyrics out loud.

One pupil, a teenage boy, claimed that Villiers held him in an “uncomfortable way”.

His statement, read out by solicitor Mr Smith, said: “Mr Villiers wasattempting to teach us how to do a scrum and he grabbed me round the waist and bent me over at 90 degrees.

“He then stuck his hand in between my legs – I was shaking and scared.”

Another teenage boy said Villiers exposed his torso in class.

He said: “He unbuttoned his shirt in class and showed the class the tattoo of a thistle.”

Villiers, who did not attend today’s hearing, taught pupils how to sneak contraband into prison by “stuffing things up their arse” and referred to one girls tattoo on her lower back as a “tramp stamp”.

Also giving evidence at the hearing was Bernadine Templeman, 49, the principal teacher of Pastoral Care at Govan High School.

She said Villiers might not have been mentally stable enough to teach children.

She said: “He would shout and boom at the class.

“He said he killed six or seven people while in the armed forces.

“Girls had come to me and said they thought he was ‘creepy’. The complaints were becoming more frequent.

“He must have been suffering some kind of post traumatic stress.”

In a statement read out by solicitor Mr Smith, the teacher’s brother, Ewan Villiers, claimed John had fled to Switzerland for “assisted suicide” after facing twelve counts of indecent and inappropriate behaviour towards pupils at the GTCS hearing.

But those responsible for investigating Villiers said suicide “just wasn’t possible”.

Mr Smith said: “I have been in contact with Mr Villiers’ brother who claimed he was in Switzerland on an assisted suicide.

“I have been in touch with the clinic, Dignitas, where it is believed to have occurred and they have no record or certification of Mr Villiers’ death.

“I have also contacted the British Embassy in Switzerland who also have no knowledge of the death or suicide of Mr Villiers.”

One of the investigators, Mark Paxton, had an email exchange dated January 7 2011 with Villiers who confirmed he did not wish to attend the hearing.

It ended with Villiers saying: “Do not contact me again. All GTCS emails will now be blocked from my email.”

Mr Smith added: “He has chosen willingly not to attend any hearing in my view.”

The incidents occurred between March 2 and June 25 2009, although exact dates are unknown.

Mr Smith said that due to the “significant time that has lapsed” between then and now that makes it harder for witnesses to recollect what happened.

Announcing her decision, convener of the pane Mary McCrory said: “There was evidence that teachers and pupils alike felt unsafe in his presence.

“Children had been harmed and had been placed at risk of harm.

“The respondent is to be removed from the register.”

An appeal ban of two years has been put in place due to the severity of the allegations Villiers faced.


  1. Mr villiers taught me in 3rd or 4th year and he told me he had killed better men than me, he also told the class a bunch of crazy stories about when he was in the ‘SAS’ which no one believed. He was a temp physics teacher for us though.

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