A former Riverina teacher has been convicted of abusing a boy he took into bushland on a shooting trip four decades ago.
Edward Smith Hall, also known as Ted Hall, was this week found guilty of two counts of indecently assaulting the teenager by squeezing his genitals and twisting his nipples.
Hall is a former Junee teacher and also taught at St Pius X in the Newcastle suburb of Adamstown.
When handing down his verdict in Newcastle District Court, Judge Ian Bourke said he did not accept the "evasive and often rambling answers" Hall gave during a recorded 2019 interview with detectives and when he gave evidence last week.
"In my assessment, the accused was a witness who went to great lengths to provide answers - usually very detailed answers - that were aimed at placing him in the best possible light and which were aimed at deflecting any inconsistencies or difficult questions that he faced," Judge Bourke said.
"He was a witness who, despite constant reminders to focus on the question being asked, constantly used the questions to provide the answer that he thought would either deflect the question or place him in a favourable light.
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"He is, as I have noted, an extremely intelligent and detail-focused man - at least when he wants to be. I was left with the impression that the evasive and non-responsive nature of his answers were a deliberate choice or strategy."
Judge Bourke described the victim - who cannot be named - as an impressive witness and rejected the defence claim that he had made-up the allegation.
The incident took place in the 1970s when Hall arranged to take the boy on a shooting trip in bushland about an hour's drive from Newcastle.
The accused ... went to great lengths to provide answers, usually very detailed answers, that were aimed at placing him in the best possible light.- Judge Ian Bourke
At one point, Hall asked the teenager if he knew the pressure points of the human body and encouraged the boy to lie on the ground so he could demonstrate.
Hall squeezed various parts of the boy's body - including the inside of the elbow, behind the ear and around the ankle before he allegedly touched the teenager's genitals.
As the boy tried to roll away, Hall grabbed the teenager's nipples and twisted until the boy pushed him off.
Judge Bourke acknowledged the Crown's submission that Hall's previous convictions showed he had a tendency to use his position of authority to exploit minors.
Hall was jailed for a maximum of 20 years in 2019 for a string of child sex offences against multiple victims.
While Judge Bourke on Tuesday said that submission was a strong support for the case against the former teacher, he said he accepted the victim's evidence beyond reasonable doubt when putting evidence of Hall's tendency to the side.
Hall will be sentenced on June 3.
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