A DISGRACED teacher who was spared jail after arranging for his BMW to be torched in an insurance fraud has been banned from the classroom.
Alan Bromley, headteacher of Wheatley Hill Community Primary School in Durham, walked free from court after claiming his £14,000 car had been stolen before being dumped and burnt out.
The 47-year-old claimed he has been wrongly convicted of the fraud, saying he would “not be the only innocent man to be convicted”. His legal team argued that he had turned around the fortunes of the Durham school with his “dedication, contribution and commitment”.
But watchdogs threw out his claim, saying that the denial showed “a lack of insight” into his behaviour and that they could not accept his actions “were not deliberate”.
Now they have issued him with a prohibition which bans him from teaching indefinitely.
In a report released by the Teaching Agency, Bridget Evans wrote: “The panel considered the mitigating circumstances and the issue of proportionality. We accepted that Mr Bromley has a previous good history.
“However, the panel could not accept that his actions were not deliberate. We have taken into account the fact that Mr Bromley continues to deny that he was guilty of the offence, despite his conviction.
“We consider that this demonstrates a lack of insight on his part. Taking all of these factors into account, we concluded that a recommendation for a prohibition order is appropriate.”
During a court hearing at Newcastle Crown Court last year, Judge John Evans branded the fraud a “moment of madness” which destroyed Bromley’s unblemished career.
A jury was told that Bromley, of Low Knitsley Farm Cottages, Consett, arranged for his BMW car to be set on fire following a carol service at Wheatley Hill social club, in 2009.
He had denied setting fire to the BMW, which had a street value of around £14,000, and reporting it stolen.
It was said Bromley parked the car outside the village workingmen’s club, where some of his pupils had been performing in a carol concert on December 2.
After having a few drinks at the function, he said he decided to get a lift home with his partner, the school’s deputy headteacher Joanne Nugent.
It was only later, after returning home that police told them the BMW had been found ablaze, six miles from Wheatley Hill. He lodged an insurance claim but the company refused to pay out after inquiries, and it was shortly after this that he was arrested in April 2009 and suspended on full pay.
In the ruling put out by the Teaching Agency, Ms Evans wrote: “In his closing submissions, Andrew Faux, representing Bromley, said his client’s assertion that he was innocent of the crime for which he was convicted should not be held against him.
“The criminal justice system is not perfect and Bromley had acknowledged that the conviction was for a relevant offence. This offence, although involving dishonesty, was a single count of fraud which had been denied, but had not been covered up.
“The information provided in the court transcript did not give a very full description of the offence but what was known was that the judge described Bromley’s actions as ‘an act of madness’.”