Teacher held for 'attempted pupil murder'





A science teacher has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after three pupils were assaulted during a lesson, one of them a 14-year-old boy who was left in a critical condition with serious head injuries.



Peter Harvey, 49, is said to have assaulted his pupil after the boy swore at him in the classroom. He is alleged to have attacked the teenager with a heavy metal weight, beating him over the head in front of a class of more than 20 children. Two of the boy's classmates, a boy and a girl, both 14, were also assaulted, apparently when they went to their friend's aid.

The teacher was arrested after the incident, which happened just after 11am on Wednesday morning at All Saints Roman Catholic Comprehensive School, in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Tonight he was still being interviewed by Nottinghamshire Police after the force applied for extra time to question him.

Officers were alerted to the incident after paramedics arrived at the school and found the boy in a pool of blood at the entrance to the science block.

He was taken to Kings Mill hospital and then moved to a specialist unit at Nottingham's Queens Medical Centre, where his condition was described as critical. Yesterday, however, Nottinghamshire County Council, the local education authority, said the boy's condition had "slightly improved" overnight.

The Year 8 class was having a physics lesson when the incident happened. Police confirmed that two other teenagers were also allegedly assaulted in the same incident. Their injuries required medical attention, but they were allowed to go home that afternoon. They also confirmed that a weapon was used in the assault.

At a press conference outside the school yesterday Detective Superintendent Adrian Pearson of Nottinghamshire Police said that such a case was "very, very rare" and said that pupils were left "traumatised" by what had happened. He added: "People send their children here from great distances because of its academic record and what happened is very much out of character for the school.

"I know a number of parents have rung the headteacher about what has happened but I would appeal for everyone to be calm, particularly in relation to those people involved."

A letter was sent to the parents of all 1,170 pupils at the school informing them than an incident had taken place. The Mayor of Mansfield, Tony Egginton, sent his daughter to the school. He said: "It's exceedingly sad that this happened. We don't know the full details but it does seem bizarre that this has happened. It"s very concerning and I feel for the parents of the other pupils who may start to wonder whether their child has been subjected to any bullying if they have been in this teacher's class.

"Irrespective of whether he has been goaded, it is not the response we would expect from a mature teacher. All Saints is a very reputable school and it has performed extremely well. For this to happen is a bitter blow to their reputation, and the headteacher and the rest of the team have a massive job to build back their name."

Mr Harvey, a married father of two girls who are believed to be pupils at the school, is said to have recently been treated for "stress-related problems". Last night his wife Samantha was being comforted at their detached home by a family friend who said: "We can't say anything at the moment because we don't really know anything. Peter is still with the police. I don't think his wife could cope with saying anything right now. She is very, very upset."

In the wake of the incident, a Facebook group was temporarily set up by friends who posted get well soon messages.

A similar page named Mr Harvey Is A Legend was also set up by pupils in support of the teacher. One former pupil wrote: "I don't believe for one second he meant to hurt anyone. He just happened to break down at school."

Another added "He was (sic) a legendary teacher but you could see in his lessons he wasn't all there. He would talk to himself a lot and shake but I never thought he would do this." And one said: "He may become a victim of his most famous saying, 'What you abuse, you lose'."

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?