18 Sep 2014

Jury to deliver Auckland teacher verdict

8:09 pm on 18 September 2014

Jurors in the Auckland High Court trial of the teacher accused of inappropriately touching his students in class have retired for the evening.

The Auckland teacher, aged in his 60s, denies 23 charges of doing an indecent act on girls under the age of 12 over a two year period.

Suppression orders prevent Radio New Zealand from naming the man or the school to protect the identity of the victims.

In his closing arguments, Crown prosecutor Dale Dufty said parents and other teachers walked in on the teacher when he was alone with the girls.

"Seven witnesses have said the accused's reaction was unusual - they say it was weird, shocked expression, he looked sinister. Caught like a deer in the headlights, one person said."

Mr Dufty told the jurors they could trust what the children had said about the inappropriate touching and there were some similarities in their evidence.

In his closing arguments, defence lawyer Richard Earwaker said his client played physical games with his students and that was stupid and unwise in this day and age, but the man was not a criminal.

"Everybody's been through an ordeal including the families, the school, children. That doesn't mean that someone has to pay."

He said while the parents could not be objective about their children, the jurors must.

The Crown said seven adults saw the teacher alone or acting inappropriately with female students.

Mr Earwaker said just because there were 10 complainants, it did not mean his client was guilty.

The jury will continue its deliberations tomorrow.