Science teacher is banned from profession for life

Science teacher who taught at several secondary schools in Devon is banned from profession for life after being convicted of voyeurism and child sex offences which left sixth-form student ‘humiliated’ and ‘violated’

  • Joshua Larcombe taught at several secondary schools in Devon and Cornwall
  • The science teacher was told he can never teach again after misconduct hearing
  • He left the sixth-form student ‘humiliated’ and ‘violated’, misconduct panel told

A science teacher has been banned from the profession and has been told he can never teach again after a misconduct hearing.

Joshua Larcombe, from Torquay, taught at several secondary schools in Devon and Cornwall. 

The teacher misconduct hearing report noted how the science teacher was convicted of voyeurism, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity by a person in position of trust and three counts of making indecent photographs of a child at Plymouth Crown Court in August last year.

He left the sixth-form student ‘humiliated’ and ‘violated’, the misconduct panel was told. 

Larcombe had spent two days on trial after he pleaded not guilty to the charge of inciting someone under 18 into sexual activity while in a position of trust. 

But the jury found him guilty in June 2021 and in August of that year he was handed him a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with 300 hours unpaid work. He also had to sign the Sex Offender Register for a decade and was barred from working with children and vulnerable adults.

The teacher misconduct hearing report noted how the science teacher was convicted of voyeurism, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity by a person in position of trust and three counts of making indecent photographs of a child at Plymouth Crown Court in August last year

The teaching misconduct panel said they carefully considered the case and detailed how Larcombe had been found to have taken pictures of the victim while she was showering without her knowledge or consent and he kept the images ‘for a significant period of time’. 

The panel took into consideration the remarks during sentencing, which noted the victim was left ‘humiliated’ and ‘violated’ and was now paranoid about using the bathroom and showering at home.

The Panel considered that Larcombe’s conduct was of the ‘utmost seriousness’ and incompatible with the standards of behaviour expected of any member of the public, ‘let alone a teacher who is placed in a position of trust with children’. 

The panel noted that Larcombe’s behaviour ultimately led to a sentence of imprisonment that was suspended, which was indicative of the seriousness of the offences committed. He was also placed on the Sex Offenders register for 10 years.

The panel noted that there was no evidence that Larcombe’s actions were not deliberate and that he did not recognise ‘the impact on his victims’. Larcombe said in an email to the TRA on March 22, 2022, that he had ‘lost everything’ and detailed how the events had impacted him.

The report states: ‘This was a case involving an offence of sexual activity; any activity involving viewing, taking, making, possessing, distributing or publishing any indecent photograph or image or indecent pseudo photograph or image of a child, or permitting any such activity, including one-off incidents; and voyeurism which the Advice states is more likely to be considered a relevant offence.’

The panel also found that the seriousness of the offending behaviour that led to the conviction was relevant to Larcombe’s ongoing suitability to teach, adding that ‘such convictions plainly bring the profession into disrepute’.

The panel said it was satisfied the conduct of Larcombe, in relation to the facts it found proved, involved breaches of the Teachers’ Standards.’ 

It added that Larcombe breached a number of the standards, including having a ‘proper and professional regard for the ethos, policies and practices of the school in which they teach and maintain high standards in their own attendance and punctuality’ and treating pupils with dignity.

The panel said this was ‘without any recognition of the impact his actions had on his victims or demonstrating that he understood the seriousness of them’. The panel concluded that a prohibition order must be put in place and there should be no review period, ‘to maintain public confidence’.

The report states: ‘This means that Mr Joshua Larcombe is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England. Furthermore, in view of the seriousness of the allegations found proved against him, I have decided that Mr Larcombe shall not be entitled to apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach.’

Larcombe has a right of appeal to the King’s Bench Division of the High Court within 28 days from the date he is given notice of this order.

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