| 15.2°C Dublin

Still on paid sick leave, the teacher who beat up his ex

A TEACHER who beat up his former girlfriend and took her prisoner in a terrifying 12-hour ordeal is still on paid sick leave from his school.

David Wright (55) from Rathfarnham, Dublin was convicted last week of imprisoning Aideen Leahy (41) in her home while her family waited to celebrate her 40th birthday on St Patrick's Day last year.

He locked the frightened woman in her bedroom for hours, held her down and punched her in the stomach, covering her in bruises.

Wright works as a geography and geology teacher at the High School in Rathgar, Dublin 6 -- one of the most exclusive fee-paying schools in the country but has been on leave this year due to illness.

He is due to retire before the next term.


A study last year concluded that the secondary school in Rathgar was the top feeder school for progression rates to third level in the country.

A spokesperson for the High School in Rathgar which has yearly fees of just under €5,000 per student told the Herald that they were aware of his case and that "he is not working here any more". A leading education source told the Herald that the Mr Wright was still contracted by the High School but would be retiring before August 31.

This means that from the date of his conviction and retirement Mr Wright will continue to be paid his salary while never having to stand before a classroom.

A friend of the victim told the Herald how the attack was sparked when Wright arrived at Ms Leahy's home with champagne, chocolates and an engagement ring but she refused his proposal.

"She's just glad it's over so she can get on with her life," the friend said.

Wright, a father-of-two of Grangebrook Avenue, Rathfarnham, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Ms Leahy, as well as criminal damage to locks and phones at her house.

Since the attack 15 months ago, Wright has married another woman; his two children are from a previous marriage.

The judge handed down concurrent seven and four month sentences but said Wright could serve 230 hours of community service instead if he paid the victim €12,107 in compensation.