23 Mar 2011

Jury retires in teacher assault case

6:57 pm on 23 March 2011

A Napier jury considering evidence in the trial of a Maori immersion school teacher accused of assault has retired for the night on Wednesday.

Wi Derek Huata, of Hastings, is accused of assaulting children in his kura kaupapa class during 2008.

Seven children gave evidence that the 53-year-old pulled their ears and kicked or hit them with a ruler.

The accused says the allegations are false. He said he has never received a written complaint about his teaching methods or the way he treated pupils.

The jury deliberated for about four hours on Wednesday and will resume on Thursday morning.