Classroom assistant who carried out five-month campaign of bullying against seven-year-old pupil guilty of child cruelty
Rachael Regan, 43, “singled out and bullied” the girl who described her as “not a very nice person”
Rachael Regan, 43, “singled out and bullied” the girl, the trial at Bradford Crown Court heard.
The catalogue of incidents against the pupil, who is now nine, also included sticking post-it notes to her thumbs, tying her shoes on with string, calling her a nickname, kicking her chair, goading her with a biscuit, hiding her doll and tearing up her photograph.
A jury of four men and eight women took less than four hours to find Regan guilty today.
The brave youngster – who cannot be named for legal reasons – gave evidence to the court in the form of a recorded interview with police, and live cross examination via-videolink.
When asked what Regan was like, she said: “Not a very nice person, she likes everybody else except me.
“I don’t know why she doesn’t like me.”
Describing the incident when Regan taped her to her chair, the girl said she had been at her desk, copying from the board, when the assistant told her to put her hands up “and put it all around the chair”.
“It’s hard breathing, as well I couldn’t get out to get my rubber, ruler or my sharpener or anything else,” she said.
Asked how she felt, the girl replied: “Angry, because I couldn’t get out of my chair.
“The whole class were there. They were all starting laughing and I didn’t like it.”
The schoolgirl described having her shoes tied on by Regan as “horrible”.
“She has put string around me pumps. It were horrible, just because my feet are small, size 9, and somebody has got me size 10.
“Everyone was laughing because they kept coming undone.”
When asked if Regan, of Illingworth, West Yorkshire, was kind, the girl said sometimes she “is nice to the children in class but she is always mean to me”.
She also described being shut in a store cupboard, which she called “dirty” and “dusty”.
When the police interviewer asked the girl how she felt about Regan, she replied: “Very, very, very angry.”
Deborah McDonald, 41, a teacher at the school in the Calderdale area of West Yorkshire, was cleared of one count of child cruelty.
Regan will be sentenced next year.