CLOSING speeches were delivered in the trial of Alexander Thomas at Swindon Crown Court yesterday and the jury is likely to decide his future today.

Thomas, 30, is on trial for five counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity while in a position of trust and two counts of sexual activity with a child while in a position of trust.

The suspended teacher, of Queen Elizabeth Drive in Taw Hill, denies all the charges.

In summing up the defence case, Timothy Hills said: “It’s a facet of human nature, for those in a position of authority to become a target for unjust accusations.”

He later said: “We do not convict a man because of Chinese whispers. The police became involved because rumours were flying around the school.

“You must consider whether or not there has been any collusion between any of these girls. If there has been, there’s a substantial risk of cross-contamination.”

And in resting the prosecution case, Hannah Squire said: “These girls, at most, have talked a good talk, but they were still children.

“At the time, the Crown say, these offences were committed the girls were all 16.

“These girls trusted their teachers to do the right thing. It was a gross violation of that trust for a teacher to sexually exploit children in his or her care.

“Alexander Thomas has abused that trust that was placed in him. He has sexually exploited these girls, he has groomed them for his own sexual ends.”

The trial continues.