U.S. Markets closed

Spanish child killer hired as teaching assistant by Oxford primary school unaware of her past

Telegraph Reporters
A school in Oxfordshire hired a woman who had stabbed to death a little girl 19 years ago in Spain - www.alamy.com

A Spanish woman who murdered a child went on to work at a British primary school it has been revealed after a whistleblower raised the alarm to authorities.

Iria Suárez González, 35, was employed for just under a year at West Oxford Community Primary School as a teaching assistant after she was hired in September 2016.

Unbeknownst to the school, she was regarded as one of Spain's most notorious killers after she and a friend murdered a teenage schoolgirl in 2000.

Clara Garcia was lured to a patch of wasteland in Cadiz where she was stabbed up to 32 times and had her throat sliced amid reports her killers had sought fame for the murder. González, then 17, was sentenced to eight years in youth custody.

She was released in 2006 and moved to the UK where she applied to work in schools without disclosing her criminal history. González applied for the Oxford role in April 2016, before starting work in September of that year. She left the school in July 2017.

West Oxford Community Primary School Credit: Google Maps

Her past only came to light after an anonymous report was made to Crimestoppers, the independent charity. Authorities in Oxfordshire were alerted in October 2017.

González was arrested and brought before Oxford Crown Court in February where she faced a charge of fraud by false representation for allegedly not disclosing the murder as a previous conviction in her initial job application to the school.

However, the case was dropped by the CPS this week, reportedly due to a lack of evidence. Under Spanish law, all crimes committed by minors can be expunged after 10 years once the offender reaches the age of 18. Under UK law, a conviction for murder is never considered "spent" in this way.

Reporting restrictions were lifted after an appeal by the Oxford Mail newspaper, after the CPS dropped the case.

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

A spokesman for Oxfordshire 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. 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."

West Oxford Community Primary School was approached for comment.