Man jailed for shaking baby is banned from teaching

A TEACHER who was jailed for three years for shaking a baby, leaving the child brain-damaged, has been banned from the profession indefinitely.

Jonathan Sinfield, who taught at Wellsway School in Keynsham at the time, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and was put behind bars by a judge at Bristol Crown Court in June 2022.

The babysitter, now aged 31, was caring for the 43-day-old infant when the incident happened in Bath, the court heard.

Initially he reported that the child became ill and knocked their head against a sofa and later claimed he had dropped the baby from about one metre.

But medical experts assessed that, due to the injuries, the youngster had been gripped forcefully and shaken.

A Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) professional conduct panel has now struck him off with no possibility of a review.

Its report said Sinfield still thinks he was wrongly convicted.

“The panel noted that the offences had taken place outside of the education setting and had not involved pupils or other members of the school’s staff,” it said.

“Nevertheless, having considered all the facts of the case, the panel decided that Sinfield’s convictions were relevant to teaching, working with children and working in an education setting.”

The report said the judge’s sentencing remarks referred to Sinfield’s state of mind at the time which “may have been a contributory factor” but that there was no evidence that his actions were not deliberate.

It said: “The panel concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that Sinfield was acting under extreme duress.

“The panel noted that there was a lack of evidence of remorse on the part of Sinfield.

“The panel found that this was an incredibly serious conviction for which he received a term of imprisonment.

“The panel was of the view that Sinfield still sees himself as a wrongly convicted man, and that this was apparent from his letter to the TRA.”

Sinfield, who began working at the secondary school in 2015, did not attend and was not represented.

Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporting Service