A MURDERER jailed for the gruesome killing of a teenager went on to teach children at an Oxford primary school without disclosing her dark past, the Oxford Mail can now reveal.

Iria Suarez-Gonzalez became one of Spain’s most notorious killers after she and a friend were convicted of the savage murder of a schoolgirl in 2000.

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Media reports from the time said the stabbing of teenager Clara Garcia was driven by Iria and her friend, who wanted to know 'what it would feel like to kill someone'.

Years later, this newspaper can reveal the 35-year-old of Botley Road, Oxford, went on to become a teaching assistant at West Oxford Primary School.

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She was back in court in February this year, facing one count of fraud by false representation for allegedly not disclosing the murder as a previous conviction in her initial job application to the school.

At a hearing at Oxford Crown Court this week, however, the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case altogether accepting that there was 'no evidence' to convict her.

The Oxford Times:

Oxford Crown Court, St Aldates.

A spokesperson for the CPS 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 Suarez-Gonzalez’s conviction was spent which resulted in the charges being dropped.”

Under Spanish law, all crimes committed by minors can be expunged after 10 years once the offender reaches the age of 18.

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This means a previous conviction no longer exists after 10 years, even one for murder, if the offender was a minor when it was committed.

Under UK law, a conviction for murder is never considered 'spent' in this way.

Following the hearing, Oxfordshire County Council – which oversees the school – pointed the finger at the school and said hiring staff was its responsibility.

The Oxford Times:

County Hall, Oxford, where the county council is based.

A spokesperson told Oxford Mail: "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. There is a clear recruitment process in place for schools to follow in line with safer recruitment procedures.

"We know this has been a very difficult time for the school and parents.

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"The school are in liaison with the local authority to continue to support students through the curriculum around feeling safe and knowing they have people that they can talk to in school if they need to.

"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."

Iria Suarez-Gonzalez first applied for the position of teaching assistant in April 2016, before starting in September of that year.

She left the school in July 2017 and her past only came to light after a complaint was made anonymously through charity Crimestoppers, and the council was alerted in October 2017.

The Oxford Times:

She appeared before magistrates in February, denying the single charge of fraud by false representation, and the case was dropped this week.

Asked if the council was satisfied with how the CPS had handled the case, a spokesperson said 'it is not for us to comment'.

Parents of children at the school also expressed their shock at the revelations, contacting this newspaper to voice their concerns ahead of the court hearings.

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Some urged the Oxford Mail not to name the school, a position initially shared by the Crown Prosecution Service as well as defence barristers representing Suarez-Gonzalez at court.

Letters were written ahead of a hearing yesterday by unnamed parents, urging the court to exercise its powers to block the publication of many details surrounding the case.

At the court, however, presiding Judge Nigel Daly heard arguments from the Oxford Mail citing the crown court’s inability to gag proceedings and to allow open justice to prevail.

Suarez-Gonzalez’s defence team and the CPS all dropped their opposition, and the Judge sided with this newspaper to lift all previously imposed reporting restrictions.

The school was approached for comment but did not respond by the time this report went to print.