14th February, 2022 10:43 am
A rugby coach has been banned from teaching after a panel found he asked girls as young as 13 for nude pictures.
Gavin Williams, 34, was rugby partnership officer at Aberdare Community School, Rhondda Cynon Taf, for more than six years.
A fitness to practise panel heard he messaged eight girls on Instagram and Snapchat about their bodies, and sent topless photos of himself.
The support teacher asked “Learner A” for topless pictures.
The panel heard he also requested images of her “pretty face” and was told another girl was asked if she sent nude pictures of herself.
Another pupil was told: “I bet you’re a naughty girl.”
The committee heard he also made comments about male genitalia.
A picture he sent to one girl of his face and chest while he was lying on a bed included the message: “You should be here.”
The Education Workforce Council (EWC) also found Mr Williams, a Welsh Rugby Union hub officer, took a group of female students on a “school trip” to Port Talbot’s Aberavon beach without permission.
Another time he drove a girl to an optician’s during the school day, before lying to another teacher that she was his cousin.
Mr Williams was arrested by South Wales Police on 23 November 2019 over allegations of sexual communications with a child.
About 200,000 downloads from his various phones were examined. Comments he made to eight pupils were then found.
Some of the girls said they felt “weird” or “freaked out” by the messages.
After telling one of the girls that another teacher at the school had made sexual comments about her, Mr Williams admitted in his police interview he had lied and referred to the message as “banter”, claiming he had been “winding her up”.
He was not prosecuted.
When the school investigated and he was asked if the unauthorised visit to the beach was inappropriate, Mr Williams said: “I do not think it was harmful, it was a good morale booster, they enjoyed it, my intentions were in the right place, it was just a wrong thing to do.”
The committee found the messages Mr Williams sent were sexual in nature and for his own sexual gratification.
But it concluded they did not have sufficient evidence to say whether they had been for the purpose of establishing future sexual relationships with any of the girls.
Mr Williams was banned from teaching to “protect learners, maintain public confidence in the education professions and to declare and uphold proper standards of professional conduct.”
His name will be removed from the EWC’s register of school support workers.
Source: Gavin Williams banned from teaching for requesting nude photos – BBC News (January 2022)
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