A former Gwynedd teacher who chatted online to a convicted paedophile, believing he was an 18-year-old girl, has been found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

But Dylan Wyn Roberts, who was sacked after the matter came to light, has not been struck off the register.

Instead, the Fitness to Practise Committee of Education Workforce Wales accepted that it was a one-off incident and issued a reprimand, which will remain on his record for two years.

Mr Roberts, who is no longer teaching, taught art, design and technology at Ysgol Brynrefail in Llanrug, near Caernarfon.

The committee heard that he was arrested in November, 2016, on suspicion of being involved in “inappropriate online activity and possible child sex offences” in 2014.

No charges were brought but he was dismissed after an independent investigation by the school in 2018.

The EWC brought three allegations against him, all of which he denied. He did not attend the committee hearing, which was held remotely. He was represented by union officer Colin Adkins of the NASUWT.

The first allegation, which was found proved, was that he was engaged in inappropriate online conversations of a sexual nature about children.

Presenting officer Carys Williams said that Mr Roberts was found to have chatted to a convicted sex offender from Yorkshire and after a while the conversation moved on to sexual matters.

Asked whether he liked girls or incest Mr Roberts, believing he was talking to a young woman, replied: “Both”.

In a statement read to the committee Mr Roberts said that as soon as he became uncomfortable with the way the conversation was going he broke off and refused to answer any further calls from the man.

He explained that he had been drinking at the time and going through a stressful period in his relationship with his partner.

He admitted that his behaviour was “abhorrent” and said he had sought professional help for his problem.

In finding the allegation proved, committee chairman Robert Newsome said that while there were mitigating factors his behaviour was unacceptable and fell below the standard expected.

The second allegation, which was found not proved, was that Mr Roberts had carried out online searches using terms of a sexual nature about children.

The search details were found by the police on his phone, but Mr Roberts said he could not remember carrying out the searches because he had been drinking.

The chairman said the committee could not be satisfied that the searches related to children.

Explaining the reasons for imposing the reprimand instead of removing him from the register, he said that there had been no repetition of the incidents since 2014, Mr Roberts was highly regarded - his line manager having described him as “ a fantastic role model” - he had shown signs of remorse and sought professional help.

“The risk of repetition is low if Mr Roberts returns to the profession,” said Mr Newsome.