AN EX-Flintshire college lecturer has said he will regret having had an inappropriate and “vulgar” conversation with his learners for the rest of his life.

Former Coleg Cambria further education teacher Christopher Randles appeared before an Education Workforce Council (EWC) fitness to practise panel on Tuesday and Wednesday.

During the first day he had told the panel he was not in a position to confirm whether he admitted the two allegations he faced.

Those were that he had made comments and/or hand gestures on or around May 24 last year in the presence of learners which were inappropriate, in that they were offensive and/or sexual in nature and that the comments and/or gestures constitute unacceptable professional conduct.

But on the second day, when he took to the witness stand, the 58-year-old told the panel that on reflection he accepted having made inappropriate comments.

He said: “This is 10 seconds of my stupidity – a one off, never again.

“I accept it was foolish to become involved in an inappropriate conversation with learners.

“I do not in any way condone the comments I made and I wholeheartedly regret them.”

The hearing was told a video had been captured and uploaded to a learner’s Snapchat account in which Mr Randles was seen and heard responding to an inappropriate question from a learner, with an inappropriate answer of his own.

Describing Mr Randles’ comments in the video, Cadi Dewi, presenting officer on behalf of the EWC, told the panel: “This isn’t a response of one or two words.

“It was a using very vulgar language that describes sexual acts - language I would suggest is disrespectful towards females.

“The gestures were, in my submission, seeking to demonstrate the sexual acts that Mr Randles was describing with his words. They only add to the offensiveness.”

The panel also heard how Mr Randles, who lectured in electrical engineering, had passed an equality and diversity course only two days before the incident – on his sixth attempt.

Mr Randles, who said he joined the institution when it was still called Deeside College, told the hearing the video had “covertly” captured part of a private conversation “among six adult males”.

But Ms Dewi said: “This was not a private point in the way you implied – it was a public conversation in the context of a class.”

She asked Mr Randles whether he felt the content of the video was disrespectful towards women - which he agreed it was - but said he felt it would be offensive to “anyone”.

Describing the lead-up to the conversation, he explained he had no idea the video was being made and said it had been “instigated” by the learner.

He likened the incident to “entrapment” and told the panel: “I believe I was acting under duress, or provocation.

“It’s not the sort of thing you get asked every day.

“My response was not appropriate – I just wanted to carry on with the lesson.”

Mr Randles, whose career in education spans about 30 years, also said he felt it had come about due to other potential factors such as stress, with him taking on extra hours and additional pressure of assignments and exams.

He told the panel he had had time to reflect on the incident and now works for another college in England, adding: “I was at the college for 23 years and I loved it. I have an unblemished record. I believe I fell below my own professional standards.

“I do regret it. I gave the college my heart and soul. I’m going to regret it for the rest of my life.”

Chairman Richard Parry Jones told the hearing they had found Mr Randles’ evidence to have been, in part, inconsistent and contradictory.

He said the panel had also found Mr Randles to be “at times evasive in his responses to direct questions”.

Mr Randles read a selection of character references from colleagues and learners in which he was described as a “top lecturer” and an “asset to the college”.

The panel will reconvene at a later date to conclude proceedings.