Scots art teacher struck off after leaving his ex partner gifts

A SCOTS art teacher has been struck off after entering his former partner’s home and leaving presents for her after they had broken up.

Patrick McKenzie-Smith was found to have entered the home that he and his former partner had shared in October 2015, whilst employed at Aberdeen Grammar School.

McKenzie-Smith, who has not taught for five years, also left his former partner – who was not named – a series of gifts at the home in Aberdeen, as well as defacing artwork she had created.

The art teacher was found to have left presents for his ex.

McKenzie-Smith has now been removed from the teaching register after an investigation was launched into his actions by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) this week.

They found that McKenzie-Smith had left presents outside the home, before later returning to the property and entering when the pair were no longer together, causing her fear and alarm.

The former teacher also sent an email from his work address in June 2018 to a team that included his former partner, that was deemed inappropriate and not necessary for the work he was doing at the time.

In April 2018 McKenzie-Smith was convicted at Aberdeen Sheriff Court of ‘engaging in a course of conduct which caused his former partner fear or alarm in that he did repeatedly deface a piece of artwork created by his former partner’.

Despite this, he made a follow request on social network site Instagram between December 2018 and January 2019 following the Court’s imposition of a non-harassment order.

McKenzie-Smith gave evidence during the four day hearing in an attempt to explain why he had sent the email to the creative team in June 2018.

He said: “I could hardly find anything online but having been on the mailing list over the past five years, when I clicked on the website I submitted my very simple request to be added to the mailing list.”

When asked about the follow request on Instagram, McKenzie-Smith said he could not remember that incident but did confirm his username.

The hearing found that all of the allegations against the disgraced teacher were found proved.

He was found to have breached parts 1.3, 1.4, 1.6 and 2.3 of the General Teaching Council for Scotland’s Code of Professionalism and Conduct (2012).

The panel came to their decision last week saying: “We have found that the teacher is unfit to teach and as such the only disposal available to us is removal from the teaching register.”

McKenzie-Smith’s legal representative Andrew Mellor pleaded for the panel to show leniency when coming to their decision about the length of time he will be struck off.

The GTCS can impose a maximum two-year ban on any teacher but Mr Mellor asked for his client’s ban to be just one day.

Mr Mellor said: “This event took place in 2015 and the latter two were in 2018 which could be established as misconduct, since then he has not taught [in] nearly five years.

“It is difficult to see what advantages there could be in protecting the public, the purpose is not to punish but it would be to look forward – that is what it should be.

“I would suggest [his suspension] should be one day – the remorse which has been shown and the lack of evidence on any effect this has had on his ability to teach.

“He is not personally in the same position that he was in 2015 and 2018 – he admitted the first couple of charges.

“There is so much that has already been done and it seems to me there is little to be gained in suspension of his certificate.

“He has accepted his culpability and confirmed those admissions and yet we have spent the last four days putting Mr McKenzie through these to find him proved on one minor outset.

“In my submission there is zero to be gained [from a longer suspension].

“I have nothing to add but just that there is no minimum suggested.”

Mr McKenzie-Smith will find out in the next month how long he will be struck off the teaching register for.

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