Published: 00:01, 06 November 2015
A maths teacher has been convicted of assault for squirting his ex-partner with a water pistol.
Timothy Gledhill feared professional ruin after he was found guilty of spraying his victim during two heated rows.
This week the 40-year-old wept in court when he was told a judge would not be overturning the conviction.
Gledhill, a teacher at Canterbury College at the time, had soaked furious Catherine Weir during a “humiliating” attack with a child’s toy.
Magistrates dismissed his account that he had not fired any water during two incidents in July last year which resulted in complaints to police.
“She was just trying to get me into trouble. It isn’t illegal to hold a water pistol. It’s just a toy” - Timothy Gledhill
Gledhill, of Park View, Sturry, was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £400 costs for the assaults.
During his appeal hearing Gledhill was asked if the water had struck Ms Weir.
He told the judge and two magistrates that it was a question on probability.
He said he had fired the water pistol and could not rule out that water had not accidentally hit her, but added: “I haven’t done anything wrong.”
Canterbury Crown Court was played a recording of the incident made by Ms Weir in which she was heard to shout: “Stop it, stop it. Stop shooting at me.”
Gledhill told the appeal panel: “She was just trying to get me into trouble. It isn’t illegal to hold a water pistol. It’s just a toy.”
Judge Nigel Van Der Bijl and the magistrates dismissed the appeal saying they could not accept Gledhill’s version of events.
“What you did wasn’t funny. It was done to humiliate your former partner,” said the judge.
“You thought you were being clever in covering your tracks. But she was a victim of an assault and there is no doubt about it.
“You knew perfectly well what you were doing. You did it to in some way humiliate her and to put one over on her.”
Gledhill left Canterbury College voluntarily in February this year and took up a post at the Canterbury Academy.
Head teacher Phil Karnavas says the school is standing by their “valued member of staff”.
He said: “The school is aware of Mr Gledhill’s ongoing personal circumstances since he has always been very open, candid and honest with us about them.
“It is not for me to comment upon his personal relationship difficulties, the fall out of a relationship break-up or upon the merits of the court case except, perhaps, to say that I would not want to have gone through it.
“Suffice it to say, they have little, if any, bearing upon his ability as a teacher.”