Teacher Stephen Downes convicted of child cruelty at special needs school

Lisburn courthouse Stephen Downes was convicted of two charges at Lisburn Magistrates Court

A special needs teacher has been found guilty of cruelty to children after he assaulted two 12-year-old girls who have severe learning difficulties.

Stephen Downes, from Glebe Gardens in Moira, is a teacher at Parkview Special School, Lisburn, County Antrim.

He had denied hitting a child's face after she took another pupil's milk. He also denied assaulting a second girl who then fell against a radiator .

Parents of the two children said they were glad justice had been done.

They added that the case had been very difficult for their families.

The children both attend Parkview Special School where Downes has been a senior teacher since 1997.

The offences took place in late 2010 and early 2011.

He had faced a total of five charges but the judge at Lisburn magistrates court dismissed three of them and found him guilty of two charges.

Downes is due to be sentenced on 10 May.

More Northern Ireland stories



  • The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge and Prince GeorgeGorgeous George

    Baby steals show as tour reveals rise in support for monarchy

  • Houses of ParliamentBig impact?

    How a Scottish Yes vote would change the UK Parliament

  • Kim Jong-un visits a children's campThe Notepad Men

    Who are the people who take down Kim Jong-un's every word?

  • Donald Tusk7 days quiz

    What made Poland's prime minister become an internet hit?

  • Beebcoins logoMaking money

    How easy is to coin your own virtual currency?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.