Lying conman given teaching job at primary school

Christopher Lafferty told lies to obtain a job at Park Road Junior and Infants School, Batley
Christopher Lafferty told lies to obtain a job at Park Road Junior and Infants School, Batley
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A conman was employed as a teacher at a West Yorkshire primary school for almost four months before authorities discovered he was not qualified.

Christopher Lafferty, 26, also lied to cover up his criminal past to obtain the job at Park Road Junior and Infants School, Batley.

Leeds Crown Court heard Lafferty, in order to get the job, submitted an application form which failed to declare that he had previously been given a suspended prison sentence for fraud after he had made false statement in order to get a job at a home caring for dementia patients.

In order to secure that role he claimed he had been awarded a degree in adult nursing in 2000 – when he would have been 12.

Lafferty worked at the Batley school for almost four months before his lies came to the attention of Kirklees Council last year.

Checks revealed he had completed a teacher training course but had not passed a ‘final skills test’ to qualify as a classroom teacher.

The court heard Lafferty, of Haigh Park Walk, Pontefract, had been paid £6,900 before the deception came to light.

Lafferty pleaded guilty to fraud. Angus Macdonald, mitigating, describing Lafferty’s offending as “bizarre”.

He said: “These offences are indicative of someone who is vulnerable.

“He is someone who want to impress and be liked and he tells outrageous lies in order to do so.”

Mr McDonald said Lafferty had been liked by other teachers at the school and there had been no concerns over his ability before his lies about his qualifications were uncovered .

The barrister said Lafferty had been offered a job as a classical musician on a cruise liner.

The court also heard Lafferty had helped to raise £20,000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Lafferty, who has been in custody since his arrested, was given an 18-month sentence, suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work.