London physics teacher banned over marriage to 13-year-old girl

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LONDON: A physics teacher has been banned from the classroom after marrying a 13-year-old girl in Bangladesh. Joshim Nur was 22 when he began teaching at the London Nautical School, Lambeth, in 2006, a teaching disciplinary panel heard.

He claimed he thought the girl was 18 but a written statement from the girl showed she had told him her age before the arranged marriage. He also had a sexual relationship with the child, the panel heard, the BBC has reported.

In evidence, the girl told a Teaching Regulation Agency panel that sexual activity started shortly after her marriage to Mr Nur in the summer of 2006. She also confirmed that she was taken to an appointment at a family planning clinic in 2007 and that she took contraceptive pills every day.

The panel ruled that the now 34-year-old teacher had a relationship with the girl from August 2006 to April 2009 in “circumstances when he should have known she was under the age of 16″.

Three days before the wedding, the girl had written to Mr Nur to tell him she was 13 and in year 8 at school, the panel heard. In written evidence, Mr Nur said that he was ‘”deceived” by her family as to his wife’s age when they wed.

Panel chairman Dr Robert Cawley said: “The panel did not find it plausible that Mr Nur could have mistaken a 13-year-old child for an 18-year-old, and that this misconception continued over a four-year period.

“The panel was particularly concerned in light of the fact that he worked in a secondary school and had daily interactions with children of this age.”

Mr Nur was found guilty of engaging in a relationship with the child and of having sex on more than one occasion when she was under 16 – charges he denied. He was banned from teaching in any institution “indefinitely”.