Holloway tutor ‘discussed sex toys with his students’

Demetris Hapeshi used to work at London Metropolitan University Pic: PA

Demetris Hapeshi used to work at London Metropolitan University Pic: PA - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

But lecturer avoids being struck off by HCPC panel despite kissing one of cohort

A lecturer who discussed sex toys with students is fit to carry on working, a tribunal ruled.

Demetris Costa Hapeshi, formerly a tutor at London Metropolitan University, in Holloway Road, avoided being stuck off at a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) hearing on Tuesday last week, despite discussing sexual preferences with students, kissing one and getting her phone number from the university’s system for his personal use.

The senior social work lecturer at the Holloway college, thought to be in his 50s, made the advances on a night out in December 2012 with his cohort, the panel heard.

A group of lecturers and students were engaging in “teasing and questioning of a socially and sexually challenging nature”, before leaving for another venue.

At around 10.30pm, one student went to the toilet where she told her friends that Mr Hapeshi had spoken about the possibility of them having a relationship.

As she was leaving, the panel was told Mr Hapeshi kissed her on the lips – although he insisted it was on the cheek – and later called the student after getting her number from the university’s database.

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He acknowledged this was a “rash” thing to do and admitted there had been discussions which included “sex toys”, but he disputed the context. He said the three complainants questioned him about his sexual preferences – something they deny – and “no one appeared upset by the events”.

The HCPC ruled that Mr Hapeshi kissed the student on the lips inappropriately and obtained her mobile number, both with sexual motivations, and that he discussed his sexual preferences with students.

It said allegations he had discussed sexual fantasies were not proven, and that the university allows relationships between students and lecturers, so it wasn’t inappropriate for him to pursue one with the complainant. It ruled there was no misconduct, and there would be no sanctions imposed.

The incident took place in December 2012, and the three students spent the whole of the Christmas break stewing over it, deciding not to report it.

But when they returned to university, opinion changed.

A 27-year-old student, one of three asked to give evidence against Mr Hapeshi, said: “We are trainee social workers, we’re all about advocating for vulnerable people and I thought I’ve got to do something.

“I went to the head of department, but as he was already being investigate for something else it took a long time.

“He was due to face a disciplinary in November [2013] but he resigned just before.

“We thought ‘At least he isn’t teaching here anymore’.

“Then HCPC asked me to give evidence.

The whole thing has been terrible experience, half of the cohort turned against me, calling me a ‘bitch’.

“But we were just trying to protect people.”

A spokesman for university refused to comment on the matter.

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