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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 February 2008, 07:13 GMT
Crash head's penalty 'too severe'
Paul Davies
Paul Davies had returned to school in January

A head teacher who has been struck off after being jailed for dangerous driving is considering an appeal.

Paul Davies, 52, has been banned from teaching for at least two years by the General Teaching Council for Wales.

But the head teachers' union, the NAHT, said it was a "one-off aberration" and Mr Davies should be allowed to continue his career at Cwmdare Primary School.

A motorist who is in a wheelchair after a head-on crash with Mr Davies said his life will never be the same.

The professional misconduct hearing on Monday was told one witness at Mr Davies' trial believed his Subaru Impreza was travelling at up to 120mph.

The two cars crashed in wet and windy conditions on the Heads of the Valleys road in May 2006.

Kelvin Palmer, 49, has to live in a respite care centre away from his family, after release from 10 months in hospital.

He said: "My life bears no comparison now to what it used to be."

Mr Davies, from Hirwaun, Cynon Valley, has 28 days to appeal against being struck off.

The head teachers' union, the NAHT, said it "regretted" the severity of the sanction, "especially in the light of his excellent record as a head teacher and his previously good driving record."

After the hearing, the union said: "The accident was simply that: an accident, a one-off aberration. Mr Davies has always expressed his profound regret to Mr Palmer and continues to do so."

Kelvin Palmer
Kelvin Palmer spent 10 months in hospital and uses a wheelchair

'Absolutely awful'

The panel heard how Mr Davies was jailed for 15 months last year at Newport Crown Court.

Judge Stephen Hopkins described his driving as "lunatic" and as having the "mentality of a boy racer."

A statement from Mr Davies was read to the GTCW committee, saying he would always have to carry the "burden of guilt" of knowing he was responsible for Mr Palmer's serious injuries.

After a three-hour deliberation, the panel recognised that Mr Davies had apologised, but said they were "not convinced" that he had "insight into his failings in dangerous driving". Mr Palmer, speaking after the hearing, said he had yet to receive an apology from Mr Davies.

He said: "I'm suffering from a series of injuries. The words he's said are just for the media. He's had many opportunities, he's never taken those opportunities."

"This guy can go home and live with his partner, whoever. I can't. I'm not living with my family. It's been absolutely awful."

A statement is expected from the governors of Mr Davies's school, who allowed him back to work last month.

He was released on licence from prison last September.



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
See local reaction to Paul Davies being struck off



SEE ALSO
Teacher guilty of '120mph crash'
10 May 07 |  South East Wales

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