Teacher charged with assault on autistic student

A TEACHER accused of assaulting a severely autistic student in the groin has pleaded not guilty.

The 40-year-old man, who worked at a special school in the Ipswich region, was allegedly seen by two other teachers kicking the 16-year-old student in the groin.

Ipswich District Court Crown prosecutor Caroline Marco said the case wasn't "your run of the mill" type of charge, because the victim had severe intellectual disabilities.

The jury was told the child would often lash out at teachers, couldn't communicate verbally and was obsessed with water.

On October 15, 2009, the day of the alleged assault, the teacher was taking the child and another girl to the bus when the victim child started grabbing at his shirt and neck.

The court heard the child would "flail his arms around" and bite his fist when agitated.

The child would only make "guttural" noises and was sitting on a concrete floor, when two other teachers allegedly saw the accused kick the autistic child in the groin.

The court heard the child fell to the ground and he then took him to a "cool out room" where he was able to calm down.

On the day of the alleged attack the teacher had seen the child's violent behaviour escalating and being a stronger teacher compared to others, attempted to calm him down.

But the Crown alleges the attack was unlawful and without reason.

In giving evidence to the jury yesterday afternoon, the teacher said he had "attempted" to kick the student in the groin but hadn't.

The accused said the student was "violent and dangerous" and his principal refused to address the teacher's growing concerns for other students' safety.

He said the principal "fobbed him off" when he tried to discuss new behavioural management plans for the student.

In late October 2009 the teacher was called in for a discussion with the principal and a state school human resources worker and he was suspended from teaching.

Ms Marco said the accused admitted the student was "probably p**sed with him because I kneed him in the balls". The trial, before Judge Sarah Bradley, continues.

Topics:  assault autism ipswich district court

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