Interpreter jailed for attacking pupil at Sheffield school

A mother and her daughter are unhappy that the daughter was beaten up at a school by a teacher. Picture: Andrew Roe
A mother and her daughter are unhappy that the daughter was beaten up at a school by a teacher. Picture: Andrew Roe

A terrified schoolgirl was punched and kicked in the face by an adult interpreter in a vicious classroom attack at a Sheffield school.

The 14-year-old revealed today still suffers from flashbacks and nightmares after the violent assault at the north Sheffield school last March.

Interpreter Catherine Humble, aged, 36, of Batemoor Road, Batemoor, was jailed for 18 weeks after she pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

After the hearing at Sheffield Crown Court, the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told The Star: “I will never forget it. I am still having flashbacks and nightmares about it and I struggle to get to sleep. I was really scared. Even now I’m wary of going to school.” Her mum, aged 44, said: “It’s absolutely disgusting.

“You think your kids are safe at school and then you get a phone call saying your child has been attacked by a member of staff.

“The attack has had a big effect on my daughter.


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“She is not the same person as she was. She has flashbacks and nightmares and she doesn’t feel safe at school any more.”

Rachel Harrison, prosecuting, said the teenager was attacked by Humble between lessons on March 11 last year after she stroked a classmate’s hair.

She said Humble asked the teenager not to do it again telling her: “Carry on and I’ll show you what I’ll do.”

“She began to walk away and the defendant followed her,” said Miss Harrison.

“She slapped the complainant and so the complainant slapped her back.”

The victim wept and shook as CCTV footage of the incident was played to the court.

It showed the interpreter chasing the pupil up some stairs and into a classroom.

Miss Harrison said: “The complainant ran into a classroom and hid behind him. The defendant ran into the classroom, went towards the complainant and was saying ‘you shouldn’t have done that’.

“The defendant pushed the complainant to the floor. She was up against the wall. The defendant was on top of her pulling her hair with both hands.”

The assistant headteacher who was in the room intervened but Humble punched the pupil and kicked her in the face. Her head was banged on the floor and she suffered multiple kicks, punches and slaps.

The teenager was taken to hospital where she was treated for scratches and bruises.

Andrew Swaby, defending, said mother-of-two Humble came to the UK in 2002 as an asylum seeker after fleeing the conflict in Rwanda.

She was assisting a Swahili speaking student at the school when the incident took place.

Mr Swaby said: “She became aware of difficulties of girls encountering racism and bullying. She witnessed that first hand.”

He said Humble had felt ‘threatened’ by the girl and lashed out. The defendant accepts responsibility for what took place,” he said.

“She lost control and accepts she went too far.”

Judge Paul Watson QC jailed Humble for 18 weeks.

He said: “If this was a case where you had simply slapped her I might have been able to take a different view but you pursued her into another room where the assault continued.

“She was 14 and a vulnerable victim who was entitled to feel and be safe at school.”