Pictures of Helen Flanagan found in shamed English lecturer's locker

Shamed English lecturer who was sacked for staring at female students’ breasts kept a secret stash of pictures of actress Helen Flanagan in his college cabinet

  • John Taylor, 54, sacked for staring at students’ breasts at a North Wales college  
  • Pictures of actress Helen Flanagan were found in his locker after he was sacked 
  • Taylor had been accused of encroaching on female students’ personal space

A shamed English lecturer who was sacked for staring at female students’ breasts kept a secret stash of pictures of actress Helen Flanagan in his college cabinet. 

John Taylor, 54, was sacked from Grwp Llandrillo Menai College in North Wales in 2019 after being accused by teenage female students of encroaching on their ‘personal space’ and ‘staring at their tops and cleavage’.

A disciplinary hearing was told that after Taylor was sacked, a hoard of CDs, DVDs and pictures of former Coronation Street star Flanagan were discovered tucked away in his locker.

His secret collection was found while the locker was cleared along with other pictures of Japanese singer Ai Shinozaki known for her ‘curvy figure’. 

Taylor, who claimed that none of the images were ‘nude or in any way pornographic’, accepted it had been a mistake to take them to work when he faced an Education Workforce Council disciplinary hearing.

Shamed English lecturer John Taylor kept a secret stash of pictures of actress Helen Flanagan in his college cabinet

The committee said the images were ‘inappropriate for a learning environment’ but accepted they could not be accessed by anyone else and it was not unacceptable professional conduct. 

Taylor was sacked from the college four years ago for gross misconduct, although he later claimed unfair dismissal.

The shamed lecturer was already on a written warning for emphasising the word ‘c**k’ when pronouncing a female student’s surname, ‘Cockbill’. 

The following month Taylor was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and was hospitalised in the summer due to his condition. He returned to work in September. 

During an all-female English GCSE resit class that month, girls as young as 17 complained that Taylor had behaved ‘inappropriately’ towards them. One girl specifically said she saw Taylor look at another students’ breasts and bottom as she left the class.

The college has several sites in North Wales, including one at Rhyl and another at Rhos-on-Sea. Taylor – who had worked for the college in Rhyl for 23 years – claimed he was having problems with his contact lenses which caused him to stare, while he also blamed his diabetes for issues with his eyesight. 

After he was fired, Taylor sued the college for disability discrimination but an employment tribunal ruled his behaviour was ‘not connected to his disability’ and dismissed the claim.

Other claims of breach of contract, failure to make reasonable adjustments and unfair dismissal succeeded.

Taylor was sacked from Grwp Llandrillo Menai in 2019, after spending 23 years teaching there. Pictured: The college’s site in Rhyl

‘It is clear to me that I got a number of things wrong in my interactions with students towards the end of my employment at the college,’ Taylor said.

The Education Workforce Council hearing in Cardiff imposed a two-year reprimand but has allowed the English and media lecturer to continue to work in education.

The hearing on whether he was fit to teach found five allegations of misconduct were proven. It included having repeatedly emphasised part of the ‘Cockbill’ name because of the sexual innuendo.

He claimed he merely thought the name funny, but the committee described his behaviour as ‘infantile and unprofessional’ which made the 16-year-old feel humiliated and uncomfortable.

The hearing said that as an experienced professional Mr Taylor should have known better. But it added: ‘Mr Taylor’s actions were foolish, unprofessional and ill-judged. In those circumstances, on balance, the committee did not consider his conduct was fundamentally incompatible with him remaining in education.’

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