Teacher on trial for indecent treatment

WHILE the Royal Commission into child sex abuse was being heard in the Rockhampton Courthouse on Friday, upstairs a jury heard video evidence given by a young girl who had allegedly been hugged, tickled and had her breasts touched by a relief teacher.

The teacher, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was working at a Rockhampton district primary school in 2013 when the alleged incident occurred.

The child told police the teacher had approached her at the school's tuckshop in the morning before school and told her to come up to the "green demountable".

He allegedly told her friend to go to the shed to find a mat for the door.

She told police that after her friend left, the teacher had lifted her up, put her on his lap and "rubbed me between my chest and my left breast".

She said she pushed his arms away, grabbed her school bag, went downstairs and kept running.

"It made me feel really scared and really weird," she said.

The girl told her friend what had happened and her friend reported it to the school principal.

She said in a separate incident, a month earlier, the same teacher had told her and two friends to come up to the classroom at lunchtime.

She told police the teacher told the girls to play hide-and-seek and would find, tickle and hug them.

Crown prosecutor Alexandra Baker told the Rockhampton District Court the parents of the other girls would not allow them to give evidence and Judge Anthony Rafter acknowledged it gave no opportunity for the defence to compare their evidence for consistency.

The school's principal and deputy principal both gave evidence.

The man, who has more than 40 years' teaching experience, is charged with indecent treatment of a child under 16 and under 12.

The jury yesterday retired to consider its verdict.

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