A teacher who raped a woman while she was asleep has been jailed and banned from the profession. 

Austin Gacheru, who taught at Ricards Lodge High School, is serving a seven-year prison sentence after he was convicted of rape. 

The former English teacher was also convicted of being concerned in the production of cannabis and possessing MDMA

Gacheru, 35, was working at the all-girls secondary school in Wimbledon when he was arrested in February 2016 as cannabis plants were found in a house he owned. 

He was suspended by the school pending a disciplinary investigation. 

Later that year Gacheru went on a night out and was introduced to a woman who his friend had been having a casual sexual relationship with. 

The three of them ended up going back to someone’s home, where Gacheru’s friend and the woman had consensual sex. 

Sometime later the man felt unwell so went to the bathroom while the woman went to sleep in the bedroom. 

A short time later she woke up to find Gacheru raping her. 

Gacheru was later arrested and a jury found him guilty of rape, leading to a seven-year prison sentence which started in January 2022. He was also added to the sex offenders register for life. 

The judge said: “It must have been a terrible experience in the dark in that situation suddenly to find that it was not that man but someone else who was having sex with her.” 

On March 30 a Teaching Regulation Agency panel met to decide whether Gacheru had a future in the profession. 

The panel decided to ban him from teaching indefinitely, also deciding that he will not be able to apply to change this at any point due to how serious his offending was.