A teacher who attacked a disruptive pupil with a dumbbell while shouting 'die, die, die' has been spared jail and given a two-year community order.

Peter Harvey, 50, attacked the 14-year-old boy at All Saints' Roman Catholic School in the Nottinghamshire region of England last July after repeatedly being taunted by pupils in his science class.

Last month, a jury at Nottingham Crown Court took just an hour to clear Harvey of attempting to murder the boy or intending to cause him serious injury.

The married father-of-two had earlier admitted causing grievous bodily harm without intent.

The jury accepted his barrister's claims that his pupils had driven him over the edge and that he did not know what he was doing.

The court heard pupils at the school were trying to wind up Harvey so his reaction could be caught on a camcorder being used secretly by a girl in the class.

The footage was then to be passed around the school as a way of humiliating Harvey.

When the boy swore at him, Harvey dragged him out of the classroom and launched the attack.

The boy suffered a fractured skull and has since lost some hearing in his right ear.

Passing sentence, Judge Michael Stokes said: 'On any view this is a tragic case.

'You are a thoroughly decent man and for well over 20 years you have been a dedicated and successful school teacher.

'The incident involving the 14-year-old boy whom you assaulted was brought about, I have no doubt, by a number of factors combining together and producing in you a quite disproportionate reaction to misbehaviour, abuse and rank disobedience by him and some of his classmates.

'In previous years you would have handled this easily and professionally but in July of last year you were far from well.

'You were undoubtedly suffering from depression, stress and a serious lack of confidence.'