A teacher at a Bradford school has appeared in court charged with assaulting a pupil.
James Mullaney, 31, is accused of the common assault of a 14-year-old boy.
The charge alleges the assault took place at Belle Vue Boys School on December 17 last year. The complainant cannot be identified for legal reasons.
Mullaney, of Siskin Drive, Clayton Heights, Bradford, yesterday pleaded not guilty to the charge when he made his first appearance at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court.
Wearing a dark blue suit, shirt and tie, Mullaney answered firmly when asked for his plea.
His solicitor, Simon Alexander, asked that his client’s address not be given in open court because threats had been made to him.
Mr Alexander said his client would put forward the statutory defence, that he was entitled to use reasonable force to restrain pupils and preserve good discipline in the school.
He said the complainant and staff members would be called as witnesses and he would want to question staff about the school’s disciplinary policy.
Mr Alexander said he would call two character witnesses.
Prosecutor Suzanne Paige said that at the time of the incident the defendant was a teacher at the school in Heaton and the complainant was a pupil.
The matter was reported to the head teacher and then to the police and Mullaney was arrested and interviewed.
Chairman of the Bench, Alison Henny, told the defendant he would be granted unconditional bail until his trial, which will be at a later date.
Mr Alexander asked that inquiries be made to ensure that any magistrates sitting on the day of the trial did not have any connection to the school.