The jury in the trial of a former Rothbury teacher accused of indecently assaulting schoolgirls has retired to consider its verdict.
Joseph Kinnear, 59, of East Newtown Cottages, is standing trial at Newcastle Crown Court after pleading not guilty to 14 counts of indecent assault dating back to between 1975 and 1982.
At the time, Kinnear was a teacher at Dr Thomlinson’s Middle School in Rothbury and Beaumont Middle School in Hexham.
Kinnear strenuously denies all of the charges against him.
He has refuted accusations of entering girls’ changing rooms, assaulting them, touching them inappropriately in gym classes or clubs and kissing them in private.
He has admitted giving children birthday kisses while he was teaching in Hexham.
Kinnear told the court that he didn’t believe it was inappropriate to kiss an 11-year-old on the lips and it was ‘just the way it went’, but said it would be to give ‘a sexualised kiss’
In 2006, Kinnear was convicted of indecent assaults on youngsters in the late 70s and early 80s.