A FORMER army sergeant who taught at some of Sydney’s leading private schools allegedly called a Newcastle schoolboy a “poofter” and said he would be “dead” if he disclosed serious sexual abuse in 1986, a Newcastle court has heard.
The former St Pius X College, Adamstown student will give evidence that Edward “Ted” Hall, 68, gave him alcohol at his Merewether unit after the student was injured during a rugby league game. The former student will allege he woke at the unit to find the teacher on top of him.
Prosecutor Wayne Creasey told Newcastle District Court Judge Tim Gartelmann that the former student will give evidence Mr Hall told him, “You’re a poofter. Everyone will know” after an alleged sexual assault that left him in pain and bleeding.
The former student will also give evidence that Mr Hall “made threatening comments indicating if he said anything he’d be dead or his parents would be dead”, the court heard.
Mr Hall entered not guilty pleas to 31 charges of sexually abusing 11 St Pius X College, Adamstown students between 1973, when he started work at the school, and the middle of 1986 when he left after a student and his parents allegedly confronted the teacher with abuse allegations and reported the allegations to police.
About 60 witnesses are scheduled to give evidence in a judge-alone trial expected to run for four weeks.
In his opening address Mr Creasey said some students and their parents formed a “kindly and close” relationship with Mr Hall and he “befriended” others by allegedly giving them alcohol, but other students were scared of him.
Mr Hall was one of a number of St Pius teachers tasked with disciplining students sent to him by other teachers, the court was told on Monday.
The trial is expected to hear evidence from former students who will allege they were sexually abused after they were sent to Mr Hall for discipline.
One former student will allege he was beaten by his father and caned by a teacher after alleging Mr Hall sexually abused him in the early 1980s.
The court will hear evidence that a former student and his parents in 1986 alleged Mr Hall sexually abused the student in a report to Hamilton police, but “no statements were taken and nothing further happened as far as we’re aware”, Mr Creasey told Judge Gartelmann.
Mr Hall resigned from St Pius X a short time after the parents allegedly confronted him.
He went on to teach at Sydney private boys’ schools including Newington College and Trinity Grammar. He was known as Tony Hall at Newington College.
Judge Gartelmann was told one former St Pius X student will give evidence that he raised Mr Hall’s name with the Catholic Education Office in Newcastle years later but was told Mr Hall was dead. The former student made a statement to police after reading media reports when Mr Hall was charged in July 2016 with sexually abusing former students.
Mr Hall’s barrister told the court there was no doubt Mr Hall taught at St Pius from 1973 until the middle of 1986 but he denied sexually abusing any students.
“The defence case is that he did nothing to any of these boys. He did not assault any of them at all,” his barrister told the court.
Mr Hall is expected to give evidence that he was “just not on these trips so nothing could have occurred” and will challenge the locations of some of the alleged offences.
While some former students are expected to give evidence they were sexually abused in Mr Hall’s office, “the defence case is he didn’t have an office”, Mr Hall’s barrister said.
The hearing at Newcastle Courthouse continues.