Former pupils have been giving evidence against former staff members of Underley Hall School.

Prosecutor Michael Hayton QC alleges that boys of the School were “subjected to violence and humiliation.”

Former owner of the home Derrick Cooper and four former staff members;

James Farish,
David Hadwin,
John Studley,
Fred Taylor,
deny charges of cruelty and actual bodily harm.

Errol Mayer who has also denied charges but he is no on trial due to health grounds.

The Court have heard evidence from pupils that they were “attacked” and “head butted” by a former owner of the School; Derrick Cooper.

The witness said,” He head butted me. I fell to the floor. He gave me a few kicks, around the body. He picked me up by the scruff of the neck. He tried to put his fingers in my eyes”

Another witness gave evidence that, “ Cooper and another man took it in turns to punch and slap him after he had been summoned to an office for cutting another pupil’s thumb with a knife. He said another student knocked at the door and was told to leave while the alleged assault occurred. They knocked again so Cooper picked me up and hung me on the back of the floor. My feet were off the floor. Cooper answered the door and told him to go away.”
The witness described his body being left “battered and bruised” after the assault.

Hayton told the Court that “the case is about the deliberate mistreatment of school children and adolescents by those tasked with educating and protecting them. It is the Crown’s case that in fact each of these defendants on occasion physically assaulted and bullied pupils in order to teach them a lesson and to instil fear and brutality.”

The trial is expected to last 6 to 8 weeks.

Jordans Solicitors are acting for victims who suffered abuse whilst they were resident at Underley Hall School. We would urge anyone affected to contact the Police to report their allegations. If you would like assistance in pursuing a civil claim please contact us for more information.

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