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Jury selected for historical South Cumbria school “assaults” trial

Carlisle Crown Court

[A] JURY has been selected for the trial of five men accused of historical alleged assaults on boys at a South Cumbria school.

The men, whose ages range from 58 to 77, face 11 charges between them – all of which are denied.

Ten different boys are named in the charges. These have been brought as part of a police investigation, dubbed Operation Tweed, into alleged historical assaults and claims of cruelty to boys at Underley Hall School, Kirkby Lonsdale.

Derrick Cooper, 77, of Hillberry Green, Douglas, Isle of Man, denies six charges which allege assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He further denies two charges alleging cruelty to boys aged under 16.

The four other men each deny one actual bodily harm assault allegation.

They are Fred Trevor Taylor, 75, Lower Park Royd Drive, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire; James Robert Farish, 58, of Oakwood, Kendal; David Hadwin, 71, of Raygarth Gardens, Kirkby Lonsdale; and 66-year-old John Studley, of Maryland Close, Silverdale, Lancashire.

At Carlisle Crown Court today (MON), a 14-strong jury panel – including two substitutes – was sworn in for a trial which could last up to eight weeks.

Judge James Adkin told jurors that the prosecution was due to open its case on Thursday of this week.

Members of the jury were sent away until then. Judge Adkin had told them there were a number of legal issues which he and barristers in the case needed to resolve in the meantime.

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