Teacher with almost 2,500 indecent images of children struck off

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A MATHS teacher who was convicted of having almost 2,500 indecent images of children at his home has been struck off.

Peter McFarlane was also banned from the classroom for driving while twice the legal limit for alcohol.

And the 48-year-old former Cumbernauld High teacher also had a conviction for vandalising a car by cutting the seat belts, and slashing a tyre with a knife.

Yesterday, a hearing of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) in Edinburgh decided McFarlane’s convictions meant he was unfit to teach.

The hearing was told that McFarlane was convicted at Airdrie Sheriff Court in June last year of 2470 indecent photographs of children at his home in Glenboig, Coatbridge.

The offence, which happened in May 2010, resulted in a 200 hour Community Service Order and McFarlane being placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

The hearing was also told that on August 21, 2010, while on bail,  the teacher was vandalised a car in Glenboig.

 

Vandalism 

The same day, McFarlane drove in Glenboig with 76 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when the limit is 35 microgrammes.

He was fined £400 for the vandalism and £500 for the drink-driving.

GTCS case presenter Jonathan Guy said McFarlane had pled guilty to drink-driving and vandalism.

He added: “The Procurator Fiscal said there were 2470 images of children found. It’s my submission that the nature of this conviction means Mr McFarlane is unfit to teach.

“There are certain aggregating factors. It is clear Mr McFarlane did not accept his guilt in having pseudo images of children.

“The fact he has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register makes him incompatible with the profession.

“He clearly falls below the standards you would expect of a registered teacher.

“There has not been any evidence of insight to his action and for these reasons, I say Mr McFarlane is unfit to teach.”

After agreeing to strike him off, Donald MacKay, the chairman of the panel, said: “Mr MacFarlane has fallen significantly short of the standards of what you expect by a registered teacher. The respondent is therefore unfit to teach.

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

McFarlane, who was neither present nor represented at the hearing, will only be allowed to teach again by applying to Scottish Ministers and convincing them he is safe to return to the classroom.

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