Teaching assistant in cruelty case told child she would ‘stick her to a chair’, court told

Teachers Rachel Louise Regan (left) and Deborah McDonald leaving a previous hearing at Calderdale Magistrates Court
Teachers Rachel Louise Regan (left) and Deborah McDonald leaving a previous hearing at Calderdale Magistrates Court

One of the women accused of child cruelty at a Halifax primary school told the youngster “I’m going to have to stick you to your chair”, court heard today.

Teaching assistant Rachael Regan allegedly said: “She was fidget, fidget, fidget in her chair and more fidgety than normal, I pulled the Sellotape from the machine, put it round her shoulders and on the back of the chair - she was laughing her head off.”

A jury at Bradford Crown Court today (Monday) heard police statements from the two members of staff in the child cruelty case.

Teacher Deborah McDonald, 41, of Birks Hall Terrace, Halifax, and teaching assistant Rachael Regan, 43, of Cousin Lane, Illingworth, , are charged with ten counts of cruelty on a person under 16 including taping the child to a chair.

The women are also charged with tying the child’s shoes with string; kicking her chair; shutting her in a storeroom; sticking Post-It notes on her; goading her with a biscuit; hiding the girl’s doll; tearing her picture; making her stand on a chair whilst other children laughed at her and referring to her as “the class clown”.

Both defendants deny the charges.

Regan, accused of Sellotaping the “fidgety” child to her chair told police after arrest that with hindsight her actions were “wrong”.

Asked about the incident, Regan told Detective Constable Joel Clayton that the girl had been fidgeting in her chair and she said to her lightheartedly: “I’m going to have to stick you to your chair.”

She told police the length of Sellotape was approximately 60cm and that the child was in the chair for a matter of minutes.

The court had previously heard that the child was taped to the chair for around 10 minutes.

Regan denied that she left the classroom to get a teaching assistant from an adjoining classroom and said to her: “look what we have done.”

“At the time I did not think what I did was wrong. Now, I understand it was wrong - because I’m sat here,” Regan told police.

McDonald said she witnessed the incident but the matter was over before she had time to challenge it.

A learning mentor, who had been informed of the incident, walked into the class and advised Regan to remove the Sellotape as the school’s headteacher was showing visitors around the site.

The defendants both deny acting maliciously in their treatment of the girl.

The case continues