ALL charges have been found 'not proven' against a former teacher accused of bullying and mistreatment of a pupil today.

Philip Meredith told of his relief at the verdict, saying the last three years had been a 'living hell' and said he hopes to return to teaching after all eight charges were found to have been not proven.

The ex-Ty-Sign Primary School teacher appeared before a professional conduct committee hearing of the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) in Cardiff.

He was alleged to have bullied a pupil, sat on a large bean bag while the pupil was underneath, and to have had restrained the same pupil resulting in a red mark on his arm.

David Browne, senior Wales official for NASUWT Cymru, who represented Mr Meredith throughout the hearing, told the Argus in a statement: "Mr Meredith and NASUWT have always felt that that dismissal was grossly unfair and totally unjust.

"Throughout this period, Mr Meredith has believed that the truth will out and justice would prevail.

"After nearly three years since this matter led to his suspension, [he] has not been able to work as a teacher, a profession he's been in since 1995 and loved very much.

"After some extremely negative social media reaction to the initial publicity around this case, where he was pilloried, he is relieved his peers at GTCW have reached their decision today which vindicates him totally on all allegations that led to the referral in the first place."

Mr Meredith, who has been working night shifts stacking shelves and travelling as far as Southampton for work in order to feed his family, said in his own statement that he was "delighted and relieved to have been fully vindicated of all of the unfair allegations" against him.

"This whole three years has been a living hell where I've been kept from a career which has been my life," he said.

"While suspended I was not allowed to communicate with colleagues and friends about this matter. I had to rely entirely on close family friends and NASUWT for support throughout this horrendous time.

"I'd like to thank all of them. I'd like to particularly thank my wife and children who've provided me with relentless love and unswerving support.

"Despite the awful nature of the allegations, they've always believed in me," he said. "As Mr Browne said I've always believed justice would prevail and am truly grateful to the GTCW panel for their overwhelming decision. I sincerely hope that I'll now be able to return to teaching, and this negative publicity will be replaced by the truth."

His friend Dr Alec Clark, himself an executive head teacher in Rhondda Cynon Taf, described "trolling" against Mr Meredith on Facebook as "horrible".