News, Culture & Society

Teacher, 44, who sent crude messages to pupil is banned

Teacher David Fenwick, 44, performed a sex act on a 16-year-old pupil in his car

A teacher who performed a sex act on a 16-year-old pupil in his car and said he wanted to run away with her has been banned from the classroom for life.

David Fenwick, 44, sent the teenager inappropriate pictures referring to his sexual attraction to her and first tried to kiss her at a school prom. 

He continued to see her after she left school and would send her Snapchat messages and drawings, and take her out in his car to perform sex acts.

The teacher at Oxclose Community Academy in Washington, Tyne and Wear, was said to have sent her numerous messages including a video of him miming the song I Will Always Love You, and let her nibble his ear for a photo.

He also sent her a crude stick man drawing and thought bubble containing the pupil’s name and the words ‘Good night. Thinking about you xxx’.

The pupil revealed the relationship to a teacher at the school more than two years later in October 2015 at a careers event hosted by the school.

A panel at the National College of Teaching concluded Fenwick, who has school age children himself, ‘used his professional position as a teacher to influence or exploit Pupil A to encourage her to enter an inappropriate relationship with him’.

Fenwick was a teacher at Oxclose Community Academy (above) in Washington, Tyne and Wear

Fenwick was a teacher at Oxclose Community Academy (above) in Washington, Tyne and Wear

Fenwick, who taught lessons to the pupil during her time at the school, was described as ‘very friendly’ by other students but was said to ‘frequently breach the boundaries of the usual pupil teacher relationship’, the panel heard.

Another student confirmed that Fenwick would make inappropriate remarks and sexual innuendos but pupils found him ‘fun’ and that he was just ‘being silly’.

The student, identified as Pupil A, said Mr Fenwick tried to ‘come on’ to her at prom in June 2013. As the room emptied, he leaned into her and gave her a kiss on the lips.

A photograph was also presented to the panel of Fenwick kissing another student, known as Pupil B, on the cheek, while Pupil A poses next to him in a pout.

In another photo with the pair, the panel saw Fenwick snapped standing next to Pupil A and pointing at Pupil A’s breasts. Pupil B said Fenwick was often flirty with Pupil A. 

It was claimed he would often say ‘silly things’. She also recalled Fenwick had pointed at Pupil A at a prom and made an inappropriate comment.

The panel heard Fenwick would take both girls out in his car together, but also Pupil A on her own. She would send Snapchats to her friend of the pair in the car.

The pupil also said she and the teacher would perform sex acts on each other and ‘touch each other under their clothes’.

She stated she would go out with Fenwick as many as four times a week after she left school from July to December 2013.

Despite Fenwick’s denials, it was accepted he told Pupil A he wanted to ‘run away’ with them both in person and text messages.

He said the only thing stopping him was his family. The bewildered student told the panel she was ‘scared’ and ‘believed he meant it’.

Fenwick sent Snapchat messages (file picture) to the teenager, known only as Pupil A

Fenwick sent Snapchat messages (file picture) to the teenager, known only as Pupil A

It was also claimed that he sent her numerous Snapchats and text messages including a video of him miming ‘I Will Always Love You.

Photocopies of some of the pictures he sent to her were also presented to the panel, including a naked picture and a lewd message on a bottle. There was also the crude stick man drawing.

The pupil said she knew the immature images were ‘not right’ and that ‘he should have know better’. 

The panel concluded the images were ‘indecent and inappropriate’ to be sent to someone who was 16 at the time.

It was also proven Fenwick drove Pupil A around a city in October 2013 for about an hour without telling her where they were going. He stopped the car outside a hotel but she refused his offer of a nightcap.

Fenwick is said to have ended the relationship in December 2013 with Pupil A saying she felt ‘distressed’ as her teacher had led her to believe he loved her.

The panel heard Fenwick had been approached informally up to four times during his 14 years at the school for not maintaining professional boundaries with students.

Chairman Michael Lesser said: ‘In all the circumstances it is more likely than not that the purpose of Mr Fenwick’s words and actions were sexually motivated.

‘It was clear to the panel that Mr Fenwick abused his position of trust as a teacher, he targeted a vulnerable pupil who was aged 16 at the time.

‘His inappropriate conduct towards Pupil A started whilst she was still a pupil of the school and culminated in his kissing her at the prom.

‘This misconduct continued as Mr Fenwick sent a high level of images and messages, to Pupil A from July 2013 onwards, and immediately after Pupil A had left the school.

‘Many of these images were indecent. He encouraged Pupil A to engage in an inappropriate relationship by persuading her that he had romantic feelings for her and led Pupil A to believe that he would leave his partner for her. 

‘In the panel’s view, Mr Fenwick demonstrated a blatant disregard for his duty of safeguarding and protecting Pupil A’s well-being.’

The panel said Fenwick had a ‘deep seated attitude’ and had targeted the pupil with a sexual motivation.

Fenwick, who qualified as a teacher in 1996, was dismissed from the school in February 2016 after a probe. He has now been banned indefinitely from the profession.