Couple assaulted Thornton Heath primary teacher in front of pupils

Croydon Guardian: Derek Hoilett and Shan Shan Su leave court Derek Hoilett and Shan Shan Su leave court

A primary school teacher was assaulted by two parents in the playground for upsetting their child.

Jennifer Thorne, a teacher at Kensington Avenue Primary School, was leaving the school building to collect her class when the parents of one of her seven-year-old pupils forced themselves through the door.

Croydon Magistrates Court heard the boy's mother Shan Shan Su and her partner Derek Hoilett attacked the teacher in front of pupils on December 14 last year, after Su's son came home from the Thornton Heath school crying the previous day.

Prosecutor Nicola Calnan said: "Miss Su grabbed hold of her scarf and coat and pulled her so much she ended up facing the opposite way to the door.

"Mr Hoilett proceeded to push Mrs Thorne with his left hand, she saw him pull at one of the parents who was trying to assist her.

"Miss Su was still screaming hysterically in a Chinese dialect and punched Mrs Thorne in the left arm twice. She then proceed to kick her twice on the left shin.

"Mrs Thorne described Miss Su as shouting incoherently as if she were possessed and said her partner was foaming at the mouth and staring."

Mrs Thorne, a teacher for nearly 18 years, told the court: "I felt unreal. I thought 'this couldn't have happened to me'. I thought it was part of some horror story. I was very shocked, very hurt and extremely upset."

Related links

In the weeks following the attack Mrs Thorne suffered ongoing pain and panic attacks as a result of the incident.

District Judge Robert Hunter, returning a guilty verdict in the case of Hoilett, said: "I have to say that I accept the evidence of the complainant and in this circumstance I find the case proved."

Su changed her plea to guilty at the start of the trial.

The couple will be sentenced at Croydon Magistrates Court on July 4.

Comments (21)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:36am Wed 20 Jun 12

Ketsuban says...

I hope they lose custody of their child because who knows how they behave in their own home with them around.
I hope they lose custody of their child because who knows how they behave in their own home with them around. Ketsuban

12:17pm Wed 20 Jun 12

ArfurTowcrate says...

A pair of numbskulls
A pair of numbskulls ArfurTowcrate

2:59pm Wed 20 Jun 12

Shebadon says...

It is very distressing to read what this Teacher has been through. I hope her colleagues and friends are giving her the support she deserves.

As for the parents, what example are they setting?
It is very distressing to read what this Teacher has been through. I hope her colleagues and friends are giving her the support she deserves. As for the parents, what example are they setting? Shebadon

6:46pm Wed 20 Jun 12

kazza76 says...

bloody sickens me if these parents have a problem take it up with the head teacher stupid people
bloody sickens me if these parents have a problem take it up with the head teacher stupid people kazza76

7:52pm Wed 20 Jun 12

GR-London says...

Whatever the detail of why the child was upset, this clearly is NOT the way to resolve the problem.

You cannot even say this country has gone down the pan. We're way past that now.
Whatever the detail of why the child was upset, this clearly is NOT the way to resolve the problem. You cannot even say this country has gone down the pan. We're way past that now. GR-London

10:02am Thu 21 Jun 12

ANNE MILES says...

Vile parents.
Vile parents. ANNE MILES

7:57pm Thu 21 Jun 12

motomoto says...

Note how the father of the child is making a gun sign in the photo......is he not old enough to know better ?.....that sort of mind set comes from people who have their heads full of gangster rap rubbish and by and large is the reason why thornton heath is basically a no go area.
The teacher who was assaulted is well within her rights to refuse to teach the child.
The fact that one of the parents was foaming at the mouth during the assault also needs looking into as well in the form of a compulsory drug tests before sentence is given.
For the safety of all parents and teaching staff the perpetrators should be banned from entering the school grounds.
Problem parents breed problem children and that is fact !!!!!!!!
Note how the father of the child is making a gun sign in the photo......is he not old enough to know better ?.....that sort of mind set comes from people who have their heads full of gangster rap rubbish and by and large is the reason why thornton heath is basically a no go area. The teacher who was assaulted is well within her rights to refuse to teach the child. The fact that one of the parents was foaming at the mouth during the assault also needs looking into as well in the form of a compulsory drug tests before sentence is given. For the safety of all parents and teaching staff the perpetrators should be banned from entering the school grounds. Problem parents breed problem children and that is fact !!!!!!!! motomoto

10:22pm Thu 21 Jun 12

kelliep1970 says...

looks like hes giving the cameraman 2 fingers tbh... xx they have certainly given the children a lesson on how NOT to behave when you grow up... xx
looks like hes giving the cameraman 2 fingers tbh... xx they have certainly given the children a lesson on how NOT to behave when you grow up... xx kelliep1970

12:42am Fri 22 Jun 12

Imabeliever says...

Justice at last! I tell you, this country is going down the pan! I think of the children who saw or heard about this incident. Were they spoken to about it afterwards? As a parent who saw it, I hope the teacher was looked after by management afterwards. An awful experience!
Justice at last! I tell you, this country is going down the pan! I think of the children who saw or heard about this incident. Were they spoken to about it afterwards? As a parent who saw it, I hope the teacher was looked after by management afterwards. An awful experience! Imabeliever

8:27pm Sat 23 Jun 12

Imabeliever says...

I hear now that nothing was done for the children or staff afterwards! I'm shocked! Apparently the children have been told that the teacher is ill but I also hear this is not the case! There seems to be more to this story than meets the eye...
I hear now that nothing was done for the children or staff afterwards! I'm shocked! Apparently the children have been told that the teacher is ill but I also hear this is not the case! There seems to be more to this story than meets the eye... Imabeliever

10:10pm Mon 25 Jun 12

hughgarse says...

Rumour in the playground is that the head suspended the teacher for reporting the assault to the police.
Well we have seen the head in the playground. Before, she would never speak to us she just stared and you never got to speak to her now she come smiling up so false.
Rumour in the playground is that the head suspended the teacher for reporting the assault to the police. Well we have seen the head in the playground. Before, she would never speak to us she just stared and you never got to speak to her now she come smiling up so false. hughgarse

1:08am Tue 26 Jun 12

Abiola says...

I am happy that justice was served, but I would like to invite us all to ask the questions what has happened to the little boy in question has his needs been met? What pastoral care was given to the number of children who witnessed their teacher being attacked? What support was given to the teacher who was being attacked and other staff who had to intervene?

I would urge any parent of children who were affected to raise the question as to what has the school done or is doing about the emotional state of the children then when it happened and especially now that it is now out in the open.

Surely though one is angry at the parents conduct but there must be underlying social emotional and psychological issues affecting the parents, especially Ms Su. Clearly she needs help, has any been offered to her by the appropriate agencies. I mean HELP!

For all concerned I recommend that there be some Restorative Justice intervention, this must have been some major misunderstanding. There remains a number of questions and answers must be given.

I note the comment of the previous commentator regarding the Head teacher sudden awakening for community relation with parents by making herself visible in the play ground, this might be rightly viewed as being hypocritical but she may be able to show some integrity by activitly supporting a restorative process.

If there is any truth in the rumours that the teacher who was assaulted is suspended because of her having the courage to stand up for justice, then the moral at that school must be extremely low. I ask the question, what is the teacher doing about this???

I trust that someone has the courage to make the first step. In this whole situation it is our children who are suffering.
I am happy that justice was served, but I would like to invite us all to ask the questions what has happened to the little boy in question has his needs been met? What pastoral care was given to the number of children who witnessed their teacher being attacked? What support was given to the teacher who was being attacked and other staff who had to intervene? I would urge any parent of children who were affected to raise the question as to what has the school done or is doing about the emotional state of the children then when it happened and especially now that it is now out in the open. Surely though one is angry at the parents conduct but there must be underlying social emotional and psychological issues affecting the parents, especially Ms Su. Clearly she needs help, has any been offered to her by the appropriate agencies. I mean HELP! For all concerned I recommend that there be some Restorative Justice intervention, this must have been some major misunderstanding. There remains a number of questions and answers must be given. I note the comment of the previous commentator regarding the Head teacher sudden awakening for community relation with parents by making herself visible in the play ground, this might be rightly viewed as being hypocritical but she may be able to show some integrity by activitly supporting a restorative process. If there is any truth in the rumours that the teacher who was assaulted is suspended because of her having the courage to stand up for justice, then the moral at that school must be extremely low. I ask the question, what is the teacher doing about this??? I trust that someone has the courage to make the first step. In this whole situation it is our children who are suffering. Abiola

2:25pm Tue 26 Jun 12

MSesti says...

Having seen the whole incident and having seen the faces of the kids at the time, I have asked myself what this world has come to.
Kids, parents and teachers alike were shocked on what had happened.
Yes, it is right to asked, what has happened to the child of these parents? Has the child or them had any support regarding their issues?
But much more important it is for me to understand, why the class of the attacked teacher nor their parents have had no councilling offered nor have they been informed as to why the class teacher was suspended. Especially as kids were happy to welcome her back a few weeks after the incident.
Having seen the whole incident and having seen the faces of the kids at the time, I have asked myself what this world has come to. Kids, parents and teachers alike were shocked on what had happened. Yes, it is right to asked, what has happened to the child of these parents? Has the child or them had any support regarding their issues? But much more important it is for me to understand, why the class of the attacked teacher nor their parents have had no councilling offered nor have they been informed as to why the class teacher was suspended. Especially as kids were happy to welcome her back a few weeks after the incident. MSesti

10:08pm Tue 26 Jun 12

Shebadon says...

After reading the above comments the words 'white-wash' and 'cover-up' come to mind.

The victim is Mrs Thorne who had no other option but to report a crime against her.

Perhaps the school was in denial and acquiesce so much that this is the course she had to take.

If this is the case I can only summise that the children were told to go home and forget about it hence the reason why they had no counselling.
Now that the perpetrators have been found guilty a public appology is in order.
After reading the above comments the words 'white-wash' and 'cover-up' come to mind. The victim is Mrs Thorne who had no other option but to report a crime against her. Perhaps the school was in denial and acquiesce so much that this is the course she had to take. If this is the case I can only summise that the children were told to go home and forget about it hence the reason why they had no counselling. Now that the perpetrators have been found guilty a public appology is in order. Shebadon

2:23am Tue 3 Jul 12

Mandaman says...

There are so many bitter and twisted biased comments here even down to taking custody of their son it's unbelievable. But excuse me. Hello! Do you actually know these people? There are so many bitter and twisted biased comments here even down to taking custody of their son it's unbelievable. But excuse me. Hello! Do you actually know these people? They are otherwise a very charming, family minded, loving couple who themselves were traumatised having seen their son in distress and thought it only right to do for him what he was evidently not capable of doing for himself. Simple!

As for the other kids needing counselling, if I didn't know differently I'd think that was a crude attempt at trying to emulate a classic episode of the Twilight Zone.
There are so many bitter and twisted biased comments here even down to taking custody of their son it's unbelievable. But excuse me. Hello! Do you actually know these people? There are so many bitter and twisted biased comments here even down to taking custody of their son it's unbelievable. But excuse me. Hello! Do you actually know these people? They are otherwise a very charming, family minded, loving couple who themselves were traumatised having seen their son in distress and thought it only right to do for him what he was evidently not capable of doing for himself. Simple! As for the other kids needing counselling, if I didn't know differently I'd think that was a crude attempt at trying to emulate a classic episode of the Twilight Zone. Mandaman

2:57pm Tue 3 Jul 12

MSesti says...

Sorry, but if your child is in distress in school and it's because of the teacher, you would surely go to the head and sort it out that way. Why on earth would you assault the teacher in front of all the pupils and parents? What impression does it give to any child when grown ups are fighting? It is surely not the solution to the problem as they have only created another problem for themselves by doing so.
And if you would have been there that morning you will know, that this attack was planned beforehand as there was warning about this given to Mrs Thorne and both parents were rushing towards the door Mrs Thorne was opening to collect her class herself unaware of what was going to happen.
Sorry, but if your child is in distress in school and it's because of the teacher, you would surely go to the head and sort it out that way. Why on earth would you assault the teacher in front of all the pupils and parents? What impression does it give to any child when grown ups are fighting? It is surely not the solution to the problem as they have only created another problem for themselves by doing so. And if you would have been there that morning you will know, that this attack was planned beforehand as there was warning about this given to Mrs Thorne and both parents were rushing towards the door Mrs Thorne was opening to collect her class herself unaware of what was going to happen. MSesti

10:28pm Tue 3 Jul 12

hughgarse says...

Mandaman wrote:
There are so many bitter and twisted biased comments here even down to taking custody of their son it's unbelievable. But excuse me. Hello! Do you actually know these people? There are so many bitter and twisted biased comments here even down to taking custody of their son it's unbelievable. But excuse me. Hello! Do you actually know these people? They are otherwise a very charming, family minded, loving couple who themselves were traumatised having seen their son in distress and thought it only right to do for him what he was evidently not capable of doing for himself. Simple!

As for the other kids needing counselling, if I didn't know differently I'd think that was a crude attempt at trying to emulate a classic episode of the Twilight Zone.
Charming, family-minded, loving couple? Give me a break! Why would they attack others if they're charming? Obvious wrong choice of words...
Traumatised? Their son was not in distress -just upset cos told off! Let's not dramatise this.
[quote][p][bold]Mandaman[/bold] wrote: There are so many bitter and twisted biased comments here even down to taking custody of their son it's unbelievable. But excuse me. Hello! Do you actually know these people? There are so many bitter and twisted biased comments here even down to taking custody of their son it's unbelievable. But excuse me. Hello! Do you actually know these people? They are otherwise a very charming, family minded, loving couple who themselves were traumatised having seen their son in distress and thought it only right to do for him what he was evidently not capable of doing for himself. Simple! As for the other kids needing counselling, if I didn't know differently I'd think that was a crude attempt at trying to emulate a classic episode of the Twilight Zone.[/p][/quote]Charming, family-minded, loving couple? Give me a break! Why would they attack others if they're charming? Obvious wrong choice of words... Traumatised? Their son was not in distress -just upset cos told off! Let's not dramatise this. hughgarse

11:34pm Tue 3 Jul 12

Mandaman says...

Alas, I’m unable to warm to your sentiments as I don't have particularly fond memories of that school, particularly where disciplinary matters are concerned. You see when I was a pupil at that school there was a Mr Lawson – an avid bird watcher - who on one incredibly hot summer’s afternoon charged out of a corridor into the then boy’s only segregated playground and grabbed hold of my left shoulder from behind me as I began to turn myself - alerted to a terrible din of those swing doors - he began beating me with full arm swings with the flat of his right hand without any question for no reason other than it seemed I happened to be there. During his frenzied, painful assault he caused me to wet my pants, which were not changed for the remainder of that school day.

Was he ever reprimanded for his assault upon me? Of course not. Why? Because he was the head master and of course headmasters; they can do no wrong!
Alas, I’m unable to warm to your sentiments as I don't have particularly fond memories of that school, particularly where disciplinary matters are concerned. You see when I was a pupil at that school there was a Mr Lawson – an avid bird watcher - who on one incredibly hot summer’s afternoon charged out of a corridor into the then boy’s only segregated playground and grabbed hold of my left shoulder from behind me as I began to turn myself - alerted to a terrible din of those swing doors - he began beating me with full arm swings with the flat of his right hand without any question for no reason other than it seemed I happened to be there. During his frenzied, painful assault he caused me to wet my pants, which were not changed for the remainder of that school day. Was he ever reprimanded for his assault upon me? Of course not. Why? Because he was the head master and of course headmasters; they can do no wrong! Mandaman

11:11pm Wed 4 Jul 12

jennygreen says...

I can't believe these people or the previous message! Children live by example so what are these people doing to their child?
As for the Head bringing herself out into the playground after such an incident that's just bare-faced! She should remember karma! She's not supported her staff when she needed to and that's disgraceful!
I can't believe these people or the previous message! Children live by example so what are these people doing to their child? As for the Head bringing herself out into the playground after such an incident that's just bare-faced! She should remember karma! She's not supported her staff when she needed to and that's disgraceful! jennygreen

11:22pm Wed 4 Jul 12

Imabeliever says...

omg! How can anyone who cares about their family behave like they did in public, knowing they are being watched? Apparently she was abusive in court towards the teacher and reporters too! She's crazy! You'd think she had time to calm down but there must be something seriously wrong!
omg! How can anyone who cares about their family behave like they did in public, knowing they are being watched? Apparently she was abusive in court towards the teacher and reporters too! She's crazy! You'd think she had time to calm down but there must be something seriously wrong! Imabeliever

12:09am Thu 5 Jul 12

Imabeliever says...

omg! How can anyone who cares about their family behave like they did in public, knowing they are being watched? Apparently she was abusive in court towards the teacher and reporters too! She's crazy! You'd think she had time to calm down but there must be something seriously wrong!
omg! How can anyone who cares about their family behave like they did in public, knowing they are being watched? Apparently she was abusive in court towards the teacher and reporters too! She's crazy! You'd think she had time to calm down but there must be something seriously wrong! Imabeliever

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree