The teacher who was cleared of indecently assaulting three schoolgirls has spoken of how he felt let down by the system as his life went into "total meltdown".
The teacher may never return to a classroom after his "year of hell".
"I don't think I could ever trust the system of education, BOT governance, school hierarchical support or the devious nature of some children to go back into a classroom," he said.
He cannot be named under law, but told the Herald that while the trial played out he had no faith in the outcome until he heard the last not guilty verdict read out in court.
Teaching is a "minefield for males" and they "all live in dread of accusations" like this, he said.
"The termination of my employment with little investigation of the accusations was hurtful, totally destroying my faith in the supportive environment of a school and the legal system.
"Only through the support of colleagues, friends and family was I able to continue with the semblance of a 'normal' life."
Because of the police investigation he had been unable to get a job, as potential employers wanted to wait for the findings of the trial, he said.
The teacher said he found it "tremendously difficult" to go outside during that time, feeling that he had been branded a child molester.
After a six-day trial in the Auckland District Court the jury took less than an hour to return not guilty verdicts on all seven charges on March 12.
"When the verdict was announced I was stunned, relieved and angry that my elderly parents, family and friends had to go through the trauma of a year of hell," the teacher said.
Yesterday, defence lawyer Marc Corlett QC told the Herald that during the trial, the court heard evidence that there had been a plan among some of the pupils to get the teacher fired.
Corlett said his client had been utterly devastated by the allegations.
"He is a career teacher, he has done nothing but teach.
"He was expecting to continue in that profession, a profession I might add in which there are increasingly few male teachers.
"The reality is it will be extremely difficult if not impossible for him to teach again."
Any job he applies for now he will have to disclose that these charges were laid against him, even though it was disproven in court, Corlett said.
His client had been in a state of shock since the allegations were made against him.
Corlett said he was surprised the case had been taken to trial calling it a "dereliction of duty" from police.
Detective Inspector Scott Beard said it was important that police take allegations of indecent assault against any person seriously, especially those involving children.
"Allegations of this nature can be time consuming and complex to investigate," he said.
"While we can't go into the specifics of this investigation, police are obligated to act on the information presented to us at the time a complaint is made and based on the information available, police took the appropriate action."
Crown Solicitor Brian Dickey said this case was "appropriately conducted in accordance with criminal procedure law".
Dickey said that generally speaking, in a case involving indecent assault on multiple children the public interest strongly favoured a prosecution.
It was not for the Crown to decide if there would be a conviction or not, but to lay charges based on the evidence, he said.
The decision to lay charges was a constant consideration for prosecutors and "at the trial that's reviewed as the case progresses".
There had been a section 147 dismissal of charge application in court in this case but that had been dismissed by the judge and it was appropriate for the decision to be made by the judge at that point in the trial, he said.
"The jury determined the case, as is still the law in this country, and he is fully entitled to his acquittal."
The teacher told the Herald he was dismissed from his job within 24 hours of the claims surfacing.
Specialist employment lawyer Susan Hornsby-Geluk said the dismissal seemed hasty.
"It would be surprising if an employer could conduct and complete a full and fair investigation within 24 hours," she said.
These kinds of investigations often take weeks, she said.
"It's not uncommon for teachers to be accused of things and to end up facing criminal charges."
But the speed of the dismissal made in this case was unusual, she said.
In the case of a dismissal the employer had to be satisfied that it was more likely than not the events did happen, she said.
The balance of probability on that decision had to be deemed to be 50 per cent plus one.