A jury will decide the fate of an Auckland teacher accused of sexually abusing young boys.

Benjamin Swann faced a retrial in the High Court at Auckland last week, accused of 10 charges of indecent acts on six boys.

The defence argues that "each of the boys lied" while the Crown says their accounts were honest, Justice Simon Moore said.

The court heard today that Swann himself had "explained his version of events" during the trial and said none of the allegations were true.

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In a number of respects, what he said had differed from what he said at the last trial, the court heard.

The Crown had suggested Swann was "making it up as he went along", Justice Moore said.

However, if the jury was satisfied he had lied they must consider other reasons people might lie in a stressful situation such as a criminal trial, he said.

The judge summarised the case for the jury this morning giving direction on how to approach a verdict.

Justice Simon Moore pictured at another case earlier this year. Photo / Dean Purcell
Justice Simon Moore pictured at another case earlier this year. Photo / Dean Purcell

He repeated that the reason this was a retrial was "utterly irrelevant" and that retrials were not uncommon.

"Your task is to focus solely on the evidence you hear in this trial."

Justice Moore cautioned the jury against being influenced by prejudice or sympathy.

While it was natural to "feel strongly about offending against young people" it could not be said that because someone is charged with offending that they were guilty.

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"As judges you must be fair and objective. You are a judge of the facts."

The onus rested on the Crown to prove the case and Swann was entitled to the presumption of innocence prior to and during the trial, he said.

Benjamin Swann, also known as Benjy, was on trial in the High Court at Auckland last week. Photo / File
Benjamin Swann, also known as Benjy, was on trial in the High Court at Auckland last week. Photo / File

The burden of proof required the jurors to be sure "beyond reasonable doubt".

"It is a phrase you will all have heard before. It is a very high standard of proof."

The defendant's teaching career spanned more than thirty years.

He was last a teacher at Ōtāhuhu College but has taught at other Auckland schools during his career.

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Swann has voluntarily agreed to stop teaching, according to the Teaching Council's register.

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