teacher who boasted ‘I’ve just smashed her’ after allegedly having sex with 17-year-old pupil and later said he’d do it again is banned from the classroom
- Daniel Rickard, 32, allegedly took girl, 17, to hostel basement where they had sex
- Colleague Paul Hicks said Rickard ‘boasted’ to him and showed no remorse
- Disciplinary panel heard teenager performed sex act on father-of-two Rickard
- But allegations of sexual contact with the teenage pupil have not been proven
- Rickard denied any sexual contact but an education panel has said the proven facts mean he should be struck off for one year
No regrets: Daniel Rickard, 32, is accused of showing no remorse after allegedly sleeping with a pupil on a school trip
A teacher has been suspended for one year after boasting that he had ‘smashed’ a 17-year-old schoolgirl on a history trip to Berlin, and allowed her to drink alcohol while the pair were alone together.
Daniel Rickard, 32, is banned from the classroom after his boastful claims, which he said were made up to gain the admiration of fellow colleagues, and nothing sexual happened between him and the girl.
A disciplinary hearing today ruled his drunken antics with the girl were ‘unacceptable professional conduct’ which could mean him being banned from the classroom for life.
The father-of-two then told a colleague that he could ‘tick it off his bucket list” – and then said: ‘I would probably do it again’.
Form teacher Rickard took the party of teenagers from his 830-pupil comprehensive school in Bridgend, South Wales, to Berlin for the four-day history and RE trip.
But he bragged about having sex in the basement with the girl – identified only as Pupil A – after staying up all night drinking after a day visiting the Berlin Wall and the Reichstag.
The hearing was told he then bragged to head of history Paul Hicks: ‘You know [Pupil A]? I’ve just smashed her.’
Four days later in a text to the same teacher saying: ‘Worse thing is in the same situation I’d probably do it again;) lol.’
Rickard was accused of unacceptable professional conduct, in that he allowed Pupil A to consume alcohol and was alone with Pupil A during part of the night.
His colleague Paul Hicks, who worked alongside him at Cynffig Comprehensive School, told the Education Workforce Council this week that his colleague showed no remorse.
Speaking at the hearing, Mr Hicks said: ‘He told me he could ‘tick it off his bucket list’ now.
‘He did not show any regret and he was quite boastful.
‘At one point he took a call from his girlfriend and asked about his children, and then carried on with what he was talking about.’
Mr Rickard denied the claims throughout the hearing and said his comments were ‘just banter’. He said the events had not taken place.
Daniel Rickard, 32, was a geography teacher at Cynffig Comprehensive School in Bridgend when he was accused by a colleague of boasting about sleeping with a 17-year-old schoolgirl, saying he had ‘smashed’ her
The father-of-two told a misconduct hearing he made it up as ‘a bit of a tease’ between the two men.
Rickard said: ‘It was such laddish behaviour, which I now can’t take back.
‘There had been discussions and observations made by myself and him about the girl on the trip.
‘It was a bit of a tease and a wind-up.’
But Rickard told the hearing in Cardiff he’d made up the story to gain admiration from his colleague.
Rickard said: ‘It was my intention to get admiration from him. I wanted to plant a seed in his head that something had happened.
‘I accept I let the hoodwink continue for a little bit.’
The teacher had worked at the Cynffig Comprehensive School in Bridgend, South Wales, for seven years before allegedly having sex with the girl on the trip in February 2016.
Giving evidence at the hearing Mr Hick said: ‘I was woken up by Daniel in our shared bedroom, he said it was 6am. He told me he had been drinking and looked unsteady.
‘I asked him where he had been and he said he had been drinking with a group of men. He got into bed and he said “you know [Pupil A], I’ve just smashed her”. I believe he was implying he had sexual intercourse with Pupil A. I was shocked and said “Are you joking?”
‘But Daniel said no. I was unsure what he had told me was true.’
Mr Hicks said he later went down to breakfast where he was told by another teacher on the trip that Pupil A had not returned to her room until 6am, which led him to believe what Mr Rickard had said was true.
Before returning home, teachers and pupils went for a last-minute shopping trip where colleagues went for coffee with Mr Rickard and asked him to explain himself.
Mr Hicks said: ‘Daniel said when everyone else went to bed he and Pupil A were left alone together and she became flirty with him.’
He added: ‘He told me he went to the toilet and when he returned Pupil A had gone. He said he found her on the stairs and that she took off her top.’
Mr Rickard said at no point was there physical contact between him and Pupil A other than what he described or anything sexual
Mr Hicks was present at the hearing and spoke about the evening of the alleged incident
Mr Hicks said Mr Rickard had said he and Pupil A went to the basement of the hotel as there was no CCTV down there where he claimed Pupil A performed oral sex on him and they had sexual intercourse.
The colleague added: ‘He told me he could “tick it off his bucket list” now. He did not show any regret and he was quite boastful. At one point he took a call from his girlfriend and asked about his children, and then carried on with what he was talking about.’
Mr Hicks said Mr Rickard told him not to say anything and said he had ‘massively f***** up’.
He said: ‘I asked Daniel if he thought about his family, his children and his job and he said he only thought about the consequences after the event. At no point did I think he was joking.’
On the next Monday, Mr Hicks said he received a text message from Mr Rickard, which said he had spoken with Pupil A.
He said Mr Rickard added: ‘Worse thing is in the same situation I’d probably do it again lol.’
Mr Hicks said Mr Rickard had said he and Pupil A went to the basement of the hotel as there was no CCTV down there where he claimed Pupil A performed oral sex on him and they had sexual intercourse
Mr Hicks said he requested a meeting with head teacher Hannah Castle the next day, where he provided a statement detailing the allegations against Mr Rickard.
Ms Dewi said: ‘The information that Mr Rickard said was true and there was sexual contact between him and Pupil A that evening.
Mr Rickard will say the conversation took place; however, he was not being honest in what he what he was telling Mr Hicks and no sexual contact took place between Pupil A and himself.’
She added: ‘Even if you find in Mr Rickard’s favour, that this was an elaborate lie and banter, that in itself was unacceptable professional conduct.’
Mr Rickard, who taught geography at the school, has admitted remaining in the bar area of the hotel with Pupil A and that the conversation between himself and Mr Hicks took place, but denies allegations he had sexual intercourse with Pupil A or that his actions amounted to unacceptable professional conduct.
Giving evidence, Mr Rickard said teachers and pupils were drinking and talking together in the bar area but when he returned from the toilet the only person left was Pupil A.
He added: ‘We stayed to chat about exams and the future. At around 1.45am she brushed her hand across my leg and then I thought it was time to finish the conversation and to go to bed.
‘We took the lift to the third floor and it descended to the basement. I looked around without exiting the lift and returned to the third floor.
‘Pupil A commented she was hot and went to remove her jumper but I told her this was not a good idea and she should go to her room and change. I watched her enter her room and made a check to make sure all the other pupils were asleep and went to my room.’
Mr Rickard, who taught geography at the school, has admitted remaining in the bar area of the hotel with Pupil A
Mr Rickard denies allegations he had sexual intercourse with Pupil A or that his actions amounted to unacceptable professional conduct
Mr Rickard said at no point was there physical contact between him and Pupil A other than what he described or anything sexual. He said: ‘My error of judgement was in speaking to Mr Hicks in the way I did. I did make a comment to Mr Hicks. I’m not proud of my language and I know it’s not appropriate to speak in that manner. I was only speaking in the same way Mr Hicks had previously spoken to me. I regret playing Mr Hicks along but I didn’t think he had taken it seriously.
‘We were speaking as friends having banter. It was complete male bravado and I’ll regret it for the rest of my life as there is no room for banter in teaching. If there was any substance to what had happened I wouldn’t have treated it in a blasé way.’
When asked by Geraint Davies, representing Mr Rickard, whether he had sexual intercourse with Pupil A, Mr Richard said: ‘Absolutely not.’
Miss Dewi said Rickard was ‘unreliable’ having changed ‘significant’ details of his account given in an earlier written statement.
Cynffig Comprehensive School in Bridgend, South Wales, where he was a teacher for seven years before the incident
Miss Dewi said: ‘We know he had been drinking at the bar. He was described by another pupil as appearing drunk.
‘Numbers at the bar dwindle. People go back to bed. Hours pass by. The two of them continue to drink alcohol at the bar.
‘The conversation goes from one of academia to a more personal conversation.
‘Her hand goes onto his knee. He doesn’t tell her to move it and does not make her move it.
‘Clearly boundaries have been crossed.
‘We say after that initial contact matters develop further and there was sexual contact as described by Rickard to Paul Hicks.
‘Would Rickard say those things to him in such depth and detail of it wasn’t what happened? If it wasn’t true?’
The hearing was told Pupil A and her mother had told police there had not been sexual contact between Pupil A and Mr Rickard.
The Education Workforce Council said the proven facts amounted to unacceptable professional conduct.
The panel found two allegations – that Rickard actually had sex with the girl and that his behaviour was sexually motivated – had not been proved.
The EWC hearing in Cardiff imposed a suspension order until the end of May 2018 meaning he cannot apply for teaching jobs for a year.
Panel member Robert Newsome said his conduct showed ‘serious incidents of unprofessional conduct’. Rickard can appeal to the High Court.