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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 September 2006, 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
Abuse claims head awaiting fate
Catherine Taylor
Mrs Taylor denies the allegations at Aberdeen Sheriff Court
A sheriff at the trial of an Aberdeen head teacher accused of assaulting pupils has said a prosecution requires proof she acted with "evil intent".

Catherine Taylor, 46, denies assaulting 10 children over several years at the school, which is not being named for legal reasons.

Sheriff Graeme Buchanan said the Crown case proving intent was critical for a conviction.

Final submissions have been heard and a verdict is expected on Friday.

During five days of earlier evidence, the first witness claimed Mrs Taylor pulled his trousers down and held him upside down as punishment for teasing another boy.

Complicated case

Another boy said his face went red when Mrs Taylor took hold of his private parts.

Mrs Taylor told the court the majority of the primary school's pupils came from stable backgrounds, but a number of children came from home environments that could be described as "chaotic".

When asked if the allegations were things she would do, she replied: "Never, I would not have done it at all, whether there were children present or not."

In her closing submission on Thursday, Depute Fiscal Helen Knipe said what Mrs Taylor had done went beyond reasonable force or chastisement.

Andrew Gibb, defending, said some of the witnesses were not credible nor reliable, in many of the charges there was no criminal intent and others fell into the category of reasonable chastisement.

Sheriff Buchanan said it was by no means a straightforward case and it would be inappropriate for him to consider the whole matter without taking into account the submissions he had heard.

He said he would deliver his verdict on Friday morning.


SEE ALSO
Head teacher in assaults denial
08 Sep 06 |  North East/N Isles
Pupil alleges assault by teacher
07 Sep 06 |  North East/N Isles
Teacher 'grabbed private parts'
06 Sep 06 |  North East/N Isles
Trial teacher 'left marks on boy'
05 Sep 06 |  North East/N Isles
Teacher faces assault allegations
04 Sep 06 |  North East/N Isles

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