University lecturer leaves jobs after being convicted of beating up student lover at his Brighton home
The Sussex University lecturer who was convicted of beating up his student lover has left his job.
The university said this evening (Saturday 13 August) that Lee Salter was “no longer employed” although it was not clear whether he resigned or was sacked.
Salter, 40, denied assault by beating when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court in June but was convicted before being sentenced last month to 22 weeks in prison suspended for 18 months.
He was also convicted of smashing an iPhone and causing criminal damage to make up belonging to his girlfriend Allison Smith.
The university was criticised for allowing Salter to continue teaching after his arrest. It said yesterday (Friday 12 August) that it had started disciplinary proceedings against him.
This evening the university said: “Dr Lee Salter is no longer employed by the University of Sussex.
“Due to the court proceedings there were some things we were unable to comment on but this matter has been, and will continue to be, of utmost priority for the university.
“We will be reviewing all relevant university regulations and procedures and will comprehensively address any concerns or lessons which may arise from this case.
“The university does not tolerate violence of any sort and the safety of our students is absolutely paramount.”
Salter, of Aberdeen Road, Brighton, was a senior lecturer in media and communication at the Falmer campus.
He attacked Ms Smith, 24, in September last year, leaving her black and blue after knocking her out with a punch to the face and stamping on her.
When she came round, he threw a container of salt at her face, which damaged her nose and chipped her tooth.
He was served with a restraining order by the court and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
The Independent newspaper reported the case and said that the lecturer had poured salt in her eyes and ears.
It quoted Ms Smith’s victim statement to the court: “The assault, the trial and the anxiety that has come from all of this has changed my life. It has completely put my life on hold.
“I feel as though he not only so freely stamped on me physically but stamped out my confidence.
“I have graphic nightmares about what happened, I can see his foot coming down on me, salt being poured over me, and I wake up shaking and sweating.
“I often fear that another young woman will have to endure what I have with him and I fear that I won’t have closure for a long time.
“The shock of what happened, the patterns of manipulation, the disturbing physical and verbal abuse will never leave me.”
The newspaper also quoted Gail Gray, chief executive of Rise, Brighton and Hove’s domestic abuse charity, as saying: “This is not a romantic ‘Educating Rita’ scenario. This is about a man who has abused and exploited his position of power and authority to perpetrate domestic abuse.”
The Independent said that Rise had helped Ms Smith and attended the trial on her behalf. The newspaper quoted Ms Gray as saying: “It is concerning that the university appeared to take no action to minimise his contact with students prior to his conviction.
“This is at odds with an educational establishment’s first priority which is their duty of care to their students, many of whom may be vulnerable young women and men.
“Their actions conveyed a message to their students that domestic abuse is acceptable and that university staff will not be held accountable for their behaviour.”
He has appealed against his conviction.
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