June 20 2013 Latest news:
by Stephen Moore
Thursday, August 30, 2012
A primary school caretaker has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after he was caught growing cannabis in the school’s grounds.
Simon Niles, 47, was cultivating the Class B drug at Bounds Green school and children’s centre in Bounds Green Road.
He was caught on December 19 last year on the premises he was using as a home while working as acting site manager.
Police seized 61 cannabis plants from the property, which Niles had illegally wired up to the school’s electricity supply to power the heaters needed to grow the drug.
While Niles did live on site, the school insisted his flat was “not within the main school buildings” and neither staff nor pupils would have had access to the cannabis farm.
Niles entered early guilty pleas on August 1, and at Wood Green Crown Court last Wednesday he was jailed for two years and six months for one count of producing Class B drugs. He was also sentenced to one year’s imprisonment, to run concurrently, for one count of abstracting electricity from the school.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of all the drugs, paraphenalia and growing equipment.
The school’s headteacher Will Wawn said: “We were extremely disappointed that Mr Niles abused the school’s trust in him.
“As soon as we were made aware of the allegations last year, we suspended Mr Niles pending an investigation into gross misconduct. Mr Niles accepted the gross misconduct charge and resigned.
“He has not been employed by the school since December 19, 2011, and has had no access to the school, pupils, parents or staff since the allegations against him first came to light.
“The safety and security of pupils is our number one priority.
“As we reassured parents and carers at the time, Mr Niles’ offences in no way compromised the safety of children.”