A college lecturer has been struck off the teaching register for two years after failing to tell his employers he had been caught stealing £900 from a catering van parked at his workplace. 

Ian Green, who taught bricklaying at Coleg Cambria, lied to his bosses about the offence, telling them it had been a "joke" played on a friend of his outside the college grounds. 

Mr Green, 49, had stolen the cash from the back of a van while it was refilling vending machines at the college's Deeside site, a disciplinary hearing was told.

The lecturer had then calmly driven off with the money but was apprehended by police officers after another member of staff spotted the incident and took down Mr Green's number plate.

When officers visited his address and challenged Mr Green about the theft, he admitted he had hidden the money in his wardrobe and after handing it back to North Wales Police he received a caution. 

But despite officers telling him he needed to tell his employer about the caution, Mr Green kept quiet and then lied about the incident when it showed up on a criminal record check after he had accepted a new job at HMP Berwyn in Wrexham.

The Education Workforce Councils Fitness to Practice Committee, meeting at the Village Hotel Chester in Ewloe, Flintshire, found Mr Green, who did not attend the hearing but admitted each allegation, guilty of four allegations linked to the theft which took place on February 20 last year including finding him guilty of 'unacceptable professional conduct'.

Presenting officer Cadi Dewi described how Mr Green, who had worked at the college since 2008, was spotted by another member of staff in the car park at the Deeside site at about 7am taking a bag from a van belonging to Selecta which restocks the college's vending machines. 

CCTV had also picked up the incident and Mr Green received a caution from North Wales Police and was sent on a Victim Awareness Course. 

In the meantime Mr Green accepted a job at HMP Berwyn but when the caution showed up on his Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check he was asked to explain the incident to his employer.

Witness Joanne Freeman, an human resources adviser at Coleg Cambria, told the committee that when asked to explain the offence, Mr Green said he had taken the money but it was "meant as a joke" and that he knew the person he took it from.

He said he had been "egged on" by a group of other people and that he had taken the money to the police station at the earliest opportunity.

Mr Green added he had been taking various types of medication since he found out his wife was having an affair and that he had recently been ill with pneumonia and believed he might have had a reaction to the medicine he was taking. 

He said because it was half-term and he was also on sick leave he did not tell his employers about the incident despite the police advising him to do do so and instead he waited to see if it showed up on his DBS check. 

It was not until a later meeting on March 20 that Mr Green admitted the full details of the offence including that he had not returned the money and had been on his own in the car park.

He also admitted he had tried to say sorry to the van driver who had rejected his apology and said: "I know what you are and what you have done."

In a statement read to the committee, Mr Green said he had "no idea" why he had taken the money and said he had been under a lot of stress after discovering his wife of 27 years had recently had an 18 month affair. 

"I enjoy what I do and helping people achieve their goals," he added. "I am no risk to learners and have always been there for them.

"I am coming up to the age of 49 and had never even been in a police station until this stupid act and I have intention of setting foot in one again"

Announcing the committee's findings, chairman Steve Powell said Mr Green had not told the truth at two successive meetings on March 8 and 9 and it "fell short of the standards expected of the education profession".

Mr Powell said Mr Green had "eroded public trust and confidence in the education profession" and had been "dishonest and deliberate" in repeatedly misleading his employer. 

"He (Mr Green) abused a position of trust and tried to cover up his behaviour," added Mr Powell, who imposed a prohibition order removing Mr Green from the Register of Educational Practitioners for two years.