“THAT is not true. That is a complete lie,” said former St Pius X, Adamstown teacher Edward “Ted” Hall in Newcastle Court on Tuesday to an allegation he indecently assaulted a student at the school in 1978 while holding him up against a wall with one hand.
Mr Hall strongly rejected allegations he indecently assaulted 11 male students while on school excursions, at his Merewether unit, at the school, in the surf and on overnight shooting trips during his more than 13 years at St Pius between 1973 and June 1986.
During his first appearance in the third week of his trial Mr Hall answered “That never happened”, “No such excursion ever occurred”, “That is not true” and “Absolutely not” as his barrister Colin Heazlewood asked him to respond to specific allegations.
Mr Hall pleaded not guilty to 31 charges including sexual intercourse, assault, acts of indecency and attempting to detain a boy for sexual gratification in a judge-alone trial before Judge Tim Gartelmann.
“That is a complete fabrication,” he said after one former student alleged Mr Hall forced his penis into the student’s mouth at the school in the early 1980s. The student alleged Mr Hall indecently assaulted him in a number of different ways between 1980 and 1981.
“Did you do that at all?” Mr Heazlewood asked.
“Not at all,” Mr Hall said.
He denied owning a selection of canes and keeping them in a cupboard near his school desk. He denied caning boys in the classroom, and particularly in the corners of the classroom where a student alleged he was also indecently assaulted.
“No. Never, never, never,” Mr Hall told Judge Gartelmann.
He told the court he took students to stay at his parents’ Junee property comprising “1500 acres plus a homestead on separate 21 acres”, based on an “open invitation to students in year 8 or year 9”.
He took year 10 students on trips to Brisbane between 1980 and 1985 after “the kids requested a trip north” and later expanded it to include a group of year 9 students. He denied indecently assaulting a student at a YMCA camp because he had never attended the camp and denied indecently assaulting students during shooting trips to the Gloucester area.
“Nothing happened,” Mr Hall said after one former student alleged he was indecently assaulted at Limeburners Creek during one of the Gloucester trips.
Mr Hall denied that anything of a sexual nature occurred during five shooting trips to the Gloucester area with a St Pius student in 1982 and 1983, after the student alleged he was sexually abused at a Stroud hotel during one trip where the two shared a room.
During two of the trips bad weather forced them to camp overnight at Craven and Stratford railway stations and on the fifth trip bad weather forced them to stay at the hotel, Mr Hall said.
The court was told the student spent the night at Mr Hall’s unit after the teacher provided dinner for the student and his parents, and later offered to have the student stay the night so that he could drop him at sport the next morning.
The student alleged Mr Hall showed him pornography and gave him alcohol.
Mr Hall denied having a television or a video machine at the time.
“Did you at any time indecently or sexually assault him?” Mr Heazlewood asked.
“No I did not.”
Mr Hall denied ever giving students alcohol after a number alleged the teacher regularly provided alcohol and food for students at his unit.
“You supplied them with alcohol?” Mr Heazlewood asked.
“Never,” Mr Hall said.
“Never?” Mr Heazlewood repeated.
“Never,” Mr Hall said.
He denied shaking hands with students so aggressively that one alleged a nerve in his shoulder pinched, but confirmed he engaged in a “good clutch” with students during a game called “Man or mouse” which he said predated him at the school.
“I always shook their hand but never pinched a nerve,” Mr Hall said.
“It was a friendly sort of thing.”
Mr Hall left St Pius in June, 1986 shortly after a boy and his parents reported sexual abuse allegations to police, and later taught at Sydney private boys’ schools including Newington College and Trinity Grammar. He was known as Tony Hall at Newington College.
On Tuesday Judge Gartelmann directed that Mr Hall be found not guilty of four of the charges.
The trial continues.