Primary school teacher tried invading temple of Jehovah's Witnesses when 'eight out of ten' drunk, hearing hearsSamantha Beresford Credit: Wales News Service
A primary school teacher tried to invade a hall full of Jehovah's Witnesses after getting "eight out of ten" drunk at an end-of-term staff party, a hearing heard.
Samantha Beresford, 51, was out with colleagues when she got into an argument with worshippers outside the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witnesses in Swansea.
The teacher swore at members of the temple as she attempted to confront her sister-in-law - who she believed was inside - over her views on homosexuality.
Beresford refused to leave the premises and grabbed one worshipper by the neck which caused a bleed.
The incident, back in July 2016, led to a criminal conviction of assault by beating, but she has now also been stripped of her teaching qualification after the Cardiff Fitness to Practice panel deemed her unsuitable for the profession.
Witnesses said Beresford was heard by witnesses shouting obscenities, making sexual references and swearing at Jehovah's Witnesses.
She was seen making a lewd gesture on the steps outside Kingdom Hall were an altercation took place.
Case presenter Cadi Dewi said: "Samantha Beresford attempted to enter a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witnesses whilst intoxicated following celebratory drinks at the end of the school term.
"There was an altercation with a member of the congregation outside the hall when she refused to leave the premises."
The teacher had been working at 500-pupil Townhill Community School in Swansea and told police she had been "eight out of ten" drunk.
Church member Gavin Young said: "She was shouting when she walked up the path towards me and she was making references to her relative and making references to her religious views on homosexuality.
"She wanted to walk past me through the open door so I grabbed her wrists and she grabbed me by the neck and held on to my throat for five seconds which resulted in a bleed."
Beresford, of Sketty, Swansea, was convicted of assault by beating at Swansea Magistrates' Court in 2016.
The teacher, who worked at the school since 1991 and was "well thought of," was fined £600 and ordered to pay £50 in compensation.
In a statement Beresford said: "Against my better judgement I walked towards the hall, shouting expletives believing my relative to be inside. I had more to drink than usual and was tired after a busy term.
"I deeply regret my actions which led to my arrest and caused great distress to my family. The incident continues to have a devastating effect.
"I let myself, my family, my friends, and school down badly and I am ashamed and embarrassed. It's something I will regret until the day I die."
The Cardiff Fitness to Practice panel chairman Jacqueline Turnbull said Mrs Beresford had not demonstrated a "significant level of insight" into her behaviour.
She was suspended from teaching for six months - and will have to reapply to join the teacher's register