Teacher knew sex abuse claims were "catostrophic"

A FORMER primary school teacher has revealed he knew that after police had arrested veteran teacher Gerard Vincent Byrnes over child sexual abuse claims he was dealing with a "catastrophic situation".

Terence Michael Hayes came under intense scrutiny on Wednesday during his second day of evidence at the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse where questions were raised over the truthfulness of his evidence.

Junior counsel assisting the commission, Andrew Naylor, pointed out several discrepancies between Hayes's trial in Toowoomba and versions he had given the royal commission over the past two days.

Mr Hayes was the first person in Australia to be charged under laws requiring reporting to police suspicions of child sex abuse, but was subsequently acquitted.

"Did you tell the truth during your trial in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court," Mr Naylor said.

"Yes," Mr Hayes said.

"I put to you, you have told differing evidence to this royal commission," Mr Nayor asked.

"I reject that," Mr Hayes said.

Mr Hayes was also handed a two-year suspension from teaching, wholly suspended on account of his sporadic work history, since his dismissal in December 2009.

He currently works at a Catholic primary school in Brisbane's northern suburbs.


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