Picture: African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Woman convicted of teen's murder hired as teaching assistant at UK school

By IZZY FERRIS Time of article published Jun 17, 2019

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Oxfordshire - A primary school hired a notorious child murderer as a teaching assistant, it emerged on Saturday. 

Iria Suarez-Gonzalez and a friend stabbed a schoolgirl to death in 2000 in a crime that shocked Spain.

After being released from prison, Suarez- Gonzalez, who was 16 at the time of the murder, then moved to the UK.

Once here, she exploited a loophole enabling her to work at a school in Oxfordshire for ten months without ever having to disclose her dark past.

Staff and pupils at West Oxford Primary School had no idea she was guilty of murdering 16-year-old Clara Garcia.

Clara had been driven by Suarez-Gonzalez, now 35, and her friend Raquel Carlet Torrejon to a field before having her throat slit. She was stabbed 32 times.

Media reports in Spain at the time said the pair had carried out the murder because they wanted to become "famous". They also told authorities they wanted they wanted to know "what it would feel like to kill someone".

Suarez-Gonzalez was released in 2006 and applied for the job at the school in April 2016, before starting in September of that year.

Under Spanish law, all crimes committed by minors can be expunged after 10 years once the offender reaches the age of 18. In the UK, a conviction for murder is never considered "spent" in this way.

Suarez-Gonzalez left the job in July 2017. Her past only came to light after an anonymous complaint was made to Crimestoppers. The council was alerted in October.

In February, Suarez-Gonzalez was arrested and charged with one count of fraud by false representation at Oxford Crown Court for allegedly not disclosing the murder as a previous conviction in her job application to the primary school.

However, the case was dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service due to a lack of evidence. Reporting restrictions have now been lifted after an application by the Oxford Mail.

A spokesman for the CPS said: "We keep all cases under continuous review so we can consider any new information that comes to light. In this instance, it emerged that Ms Suarez-González’s conviction was spent which resulted in the charges being dropped".

A spokesman for Oxford County Council, which oversees the school, said: "Recruitment is not the responsibility of the council, it is the responsibility of the individual school.

"The school had followed safer recruitment processes in terms of the recruitment of this individual. There is a clear recruitment process in place for schools to follow in line with safer recruitment procedures.

"The school is in liaison with the local authority to continue to support students through the curriculum around feeling safe and knowing they have people that they can talk to in school if they need to.

"We would stress this charge was not in any way related to any children at the school and only came to light after the staff member had left the school."

A spokesman for West Oxford Primary School was unavailable for comment.

Daily Mail

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