A NEWPORT maths teacher neglected to tell his employers about his previous convictions when applying for his job, a court heard yesterday.

Yazdan Gholi Kayhanian, 49, worked at Bettws High School for nearly three years before staff found out he had previous convictions for shop lifting and theft.

Yesterday he was sentenced to 140 hours' community punishment. Kayhanian, of Newport Road, Cardiff, pleaded guilty to obtaining a pecuniary advantage by representing he had no previous convictions.

Jamie Dewar, prosecuting, told Newport magistrates court: "Due to a complaint against him he was investigated by the police and the school and as a result it was found he had two different dates of birth and had previous convictions."

He told police he completed the job application in July 2001 without mentioning his previous convictions be-cause they were more than ten years old.

Mr Dewar said the job application forms clearly stated all previous convictions and cautions must be declared.

Mike Sage, defending, said Kayhanian had lost his job at Bettws High School.

Mr Sage said: "He is a well- qualified man with a PhD and degrees. Teaching is his chosen profession but it is unlikely he will be able to get a job in that field again."

He said the defendant gave the school good value for money during his time there.

Mr Sage said the defendant had a genuine understanding he did not have to disclose his convictions as they were spent.

He said Kayhanian didn't receive a section of the job application that stressed schools were entitled to know of all previous convictions of the applicants.

The magistrates court heard Kayhanian was fined £100 at Isleworth crown court in January 1987 for shoplifting.

At Middlesex crown court in 1990 he was given a three- month prison sentence suspended for two years for theft and going equipped to cheat, the court was told.

Earlier this year he was given a police caution for common assault, magistrates heard.