The South Wales Evening Post is reporting that a Welsh school teacher was identified as a serial shoplifter after appearing on TV’s Come Dine With Me – but escaped being struck off for her crime spree.
Sophie Hunter-Brown, 30, was so notorious for stealing that her photograph was put on the walls of a staff room at her local Asda store.
Miss Hunter-Brown, of Llanishen, Cardiff, was recognised after featuring in a repeated episode of the popular Channel 4 cooking series – and arrested by police for a string of series of supermarket food thefts.
A disciplinary hearing was told Miss Hunter-Brown was spotted after her security camera picture was “plastered” over the walls of an Asda store after a string of grocery shoplifts…
Melinka Berridge, the presenting officer at the disciplinary hearing, said the teacher would use self service tills at the supermarket to steal groceries at a store in Aberdare.
Ms Berridge said: “She would bag up items, offer a card payment, but then take out the card before the payment was taken…”
She was later given a conditional caution after admitting theft and ordered to pay Asda compensation. She has been banned from all Asda stores.
But at her Education Workforce Council hearing in Cardiff, she denied knowing she hadn’t been paying for her shopping between April and July 2014.
She said: “It was a mistake not to check that the payments had gone through. It was the result of personal stress in my life…
Hunter-Brown said she specialised in ICT lessons at her school, Cefn Primary School at Glyncoch, Pontypridd…
The hearing also heard she had been fined back in 2010 after being caught stealing from a Dunelm store in Cardiff.
The Education Workforce committee found her actions amounted to unacceptable professional conduct – but let her off with a reprimand to stay on her record for two years.
Disciplinary hearing chairman Steve Powell said: “There was no evidence her behaviour has affected her ability to teach. Witnesses have said she was a dedicated teacher.”
Hmmm – an ICT specialist who can’t use a payment machine – I really don’t think I’d wanting her teaching my children.
The Education Workforce committee must have had their reasons, but do you really think someone who behaves like this is a suitable person to work as a school teacher?
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