Page last updated at 19:58 GMT, Monday, 16 March 2009

Teacher banned for made-up deaths

A maths teacher who invented the deaths of three girlfriends to take time off work has been banned from teaching.

David Flinn, who skipped school to attend their fictitious funerals, was suspended from Hartlepool's Manor College of Technology in 2006.

A General Teaching Council misconduct panel heard the evidence on Monday.

Flinn told colleagues that his "girlfriends" had died of Aids, in a car crash and of an unspecified fate in America.

The panel, sitting in Birmingham, found Mr Flinn had misused his sick leave entitlement, and taken days off for the fabricated funerals.

He engaged in systematic and wilful deceit over a long period of time
Martin Robson, deputy headteacher

They heard Mr Flinn also falsified claims of ill health, inventing elaborate stories about his misfortunes.

He came into school with a walking stick, telling colleagues he had been injured by a car during a hit-and-run incident.

On another occasion, Flinn appeared at work with his arm bandaged, explaining to staff that he had been given an implant to control his adrenalin levels.

The college's deputy headteacher, Martin Robson, told the hearing: "There was a suspicion that something wasn't right, but we continued to support him.

"He engaged in systematic and wilful deceit over a long period of time."

'Endangered the profession'

Karen Cork, presenting officer for the General Teaching Council, said Flinn had also communicated in an over-familiar and sexual manner with pupils, asking them details of their sex lives and encouraging them to confide in him.

She said that several pupils had reported feeling uneasy in his presence.

Mrs Cork said: "His behaviour endangered the reputation of the profession, and of himself.

"He was not a young and inexperienced teacher, he was a role model."

Mr Flinn had admitted inventing the stories about the death of girlfriends, funerals, illnesses and sleeplessness.

But he denied having inappropriate conversations with pupils.

The panel ruled that although Mr Flinn was adamant he would not return to the profession, he could apply to regain permission to teach in 2014.



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