Cancelled wedding sparked teacher’s drink binge – and cocaine charge

0
29

A MATHS teacher who went on a drinking binge after discovering his wedding had been cancelled was woken the following morning by police who found cocaine in his bedroom.

Michael Kelly, from Cumbernauld, drank all the alcohol in his home and then went out with friends.

The 34-year-old got a rude awakening the following morning when police officers, investigating a noise complaint, found powder on a mirror in his room.

Kelly, who is understood to have taught at high schools in North Lanarkshire, was subsequently convicted of possessing cocaine and fined £175.

Yesterday, the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) reprimanded Kelly at a hearing in Edinburgh but allowed him to continue his career.

The GTCS, in its written judgement on the case, described the “context” for the offence.

They stated: “The respondent had, on the morning of 5 June 2010, found out that his wedding had been cancelled.

“He found out by receiving a letter from the venue. The Respondent reacted to this news by taking to drink.

“He drank all of the alcohol in his house and then went out with friends to the pub.”

They added that when Kelly’s friends left the pub “he fell in with another crowd who he did not know so well”.

The GTCS said: “When the pub closed he invited them to his house. They brought the cocaine with them.

“The Respondent did not know that they were going to do so.

Kitty

“When he contributed money to a kitty he thought it was to buy more drink and not drugs.

“The Respondent said that if he knew that cocaine was going to be bought he would not have contributed cash or allowed them into his house.”

Kelly was woken the  following morning by “police officers at his bedside”.

“They had come to investigate a noise complaint,” said the GTCS.

“They asked him about the powder on the mirror in his room. The Respondent agreed with the police that it was cocaine.”

Kelly, who attended today’s hearing, pled guilty to the charge of possessing cocaine at Airdrie Sheriff Court on May 11 last year.

The GTCS noted that Reid’s conduct fell short of the standards expected of a registered teacher and that his fitness to teach was impaired.

They said: “[A registered teacher] should avoid situations both within and outwith the classroom which could be in breach of the criminal law or may call into question your suitability to be a teacher.”

“The Panel decided that a reprimand would, in the circumstances, be an appropriate disposal. The reprimand to remain on the Respondent’s record for 18 months.

“A reprimand is appropriate because there was no abuse of a position of trust and there was no harm to children or pupils.

“The Panel found that the Respondent had reflected on the matter and displayed genuine remorse. He showed an awareness of the impact of his conduct, and resulting suspension, on pupils and other teachers. He deeply regretted that.

“The matter is a serious one but the conviction arose out of an isolated incident and the Respondent produced numerous references testifying to his good character and potential to make a positive contribution to the teaching profession in the future. It is only the special circumstances in which this offence was committed that has persuaded the Panel that issuing a reprimand is appropriate.

NO COMMENTS