School teacher Alasdair Hay was directing traffic and keeping children safe during a busy after-school pick-up outside Rotorua Intermediate School. The February afternoon quickly changed when Hay was punched in the head, knocked to the ground and suffered a serious concussion in front of students and parents for telling one car to follow the line of traffic. Sheldon Tawhiti-Ormsby has pleaded guilty to the assault and was due to be sentenced last week but failed to appear in court. The school principal told Cira Olivier he was disappointed.

Rotorua Intermediate School principal Garry de Thierry is disappointed the man who assaulted one of the school's teachers is not taking responsibility for his actions.

Alasdair Hay, a teacher at the school for 12 years, was assaulted by Sheldon Tawhiti-Ormsby, 18, outside the school gates on February 27.

On March 3, Tawhiti-Ormsby, from Rotorua, pleaded guilty in the Rotorua District Court to a charge of assaulting Hay and was due to be sentenced last week but did not appear.

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Sheldon Tawhiti-Ormsby. Photo / Kelly Makiha
Sheldon Tawhiti-Ormsby. Photo / Kelly Makiha

A warrant was issued for his arrest and is still out.

De Thierry said it was disappointing Tawhiti-Ormsby was not taking responsibility for his actions.

"So many of our students had seen what happened and here's a person that isn't taking responsibility."

Terry O'Grady (left) and Alasdair Hay get into character for outdoor Shakespeare production in 2006. Photo / File
Terry O'Grady (left) and Alasdair Hay get into character for outdoor Shakespeare production in 2006. Photo / File

Hay was heavily involved in live theatre in Rotorua and de Thierry said Tawhiti-Ormsby not only assaulted Hay but stole his confidence and recreational outlets.

He said students continually asked when he would be back and they relayed back to them the uncertainty of his return.

"We're unsure if he'll be back this term or this year," he said of Hay who was initially expected to be away from school for a week.

The school closely liaised with Hay's occupational therapist who had recommended puzzles to try to build his concentration.

Rotorua Intermediate School. Photo / Stephen Parker
Rotorua Intermediate School. Photo / Stephen Parker

De Thierry said Hay had concerns about having the energy to get back to the things he enjoyed doing.

He said what made it more upsetting for everyone was Hay was just doing his job to keep students safe.

Hay still suffered headaches, difficulty with concentration and reduced mobility of his ankle of which the bone was chipped.

A police summary of facts said Tawhiti-Ormsby was a passenger in a Toyota vehicle at the school about 3pm. The area at this time was busy with many young people around being picked up.

As Tawhiti-Ormsby left the school, Hay asked him to follow the flow of the traffic. The driver refused. Hay then grabbed his mobile phone and took a photo of their Toyota vehicle.

The summary said Tawhiti-Ormsby then got out of the vehicle and "charged" at Hay, punching him in the face with a closed fist which caused him to stumble and fall on the ground.