Monday, 14 July 2014


The headmistress of a Christian private school punished a nine-year-old girl by rapping her on the knuckles with a ruler before drawing blood by hitting her on the head.

Rally Ikiebe, 50, allegedly regularly hit pupils at the £8,000-a-year Chrysolyte Independent School in Southwark, South London.

On this occasion, the headteacher beat the girl after she heard talking coming from one of the classrooms.

She blamed the schoolgirl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and hit her between five and ten times on the knuckles with a ruler 'so it would hurt more', it is claimed.

The girl, who fell off chair and lay crying on the floor as she was hit, was also struck twice across her head, Inner London Crown Court heard.

She was hit with such force that her hands were bruised and her head started bleeding on the bus home from school, it is claimed.

In a police interview, played on TV screens to the jury, the girl revealed that teachers at the school would often use rulers for beating.

She said her teacher, known as ‘Matron’, told her to 'put her hands out' and then told her to turn them 'that way, knuckles up'.

The pupil said: 'She got a flexible ruler and she hit me on the knuckles hard.

'I was crying so hard. I was on my knees in front of my friends - it was really embarrassing. Then she started to hit me over the head.

'Then she said: "It’s time to go to the school bus - pick up your things and go."

'Sitting on the bus something hurt, I scratched it again. Matron hit me so hard that I started bleeding on my head'

The child’s mother took photos of her daughter’s injuries and phoned Ikiebe and her husband, Reverend Joseph Ikiebe, a co-founder of the school, to complain.

The couple went around to her home with a bottle of TCP at around midnight on the night of the incident, on January 17 last year, the court heard.

They begged her mother not to make a police complaint and to forgive Ikiebe because they were both Christians.

The schoolgirl said: 'She said that because we all come from Christian families we all have to forgive each other.'

Also accused over the offences are her husband Joseph, 54, Adenike Amee, 33, and Olasumba Baruwa, 48.

It was not until six months later that she called police, who arrested the teacher.

Ikiebe confessed to hitting the girl on the knuckles, but insists she only did it to disarm the pupil.

She claims the child was holding a pointed compass and she feared the schoolgirl was going to stab other kids.

But Giles Curtis-Raleigh, prosecuting, said: 'She decided to punish her. She asked to take a ruler from one of the other children and told the alleged victim to hold her hands out knuckles up so it would hurt more, and she hit her over her hand a number of times.'

Handing out photos to the jury showing the injuries the youngster received, he added: 'You can see what appears to be caked blood from a cut.

'And you can see several linear injuries on the hands.'

The teacher and other accused persons denied hitting the girl on the head at the Inner London Crown Court trial

The school has been temporarily closed by the Department of Education after the allegations surfaced.

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