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More ex-pupils speak of alleged assaults by South Cumbria boarding school staff

Carlisle Crown Court

[T]WO more men have told jurors of alleged assaults by staff during their time as pupils at a South Cumbria boarding school.

Five men are on trial at Carlisle Crown Court having denied allegations of physical abuse of boys at Underley Hall School, Kirkby Lonsdale. Former school owner Derrick Cooper, 77, faces six assault and two child cruelty allegations which date back to the 1970s and 1980s. Three former teachers and an ex-maintenance worker are each charged with single alleged assaults on schoolboys.

Today (THURS), a former pupil told jurors how, on one occasion, Cooper “ragged me about and punched me up and down” a corridor.

On another occasion, after the witness had been naughty, he said Cooper “dragged me out of a shower room, naked”. As school caretaker David Hadwin and another man allegedly held an arm each, the ex-pupil told jurors: “Mr Cooper beat me with something wet. I just assumed it was maybe a towel or a slipper.” This was painful, he agreed. “Embarrassing and degrading,” he added.

Another ex-pupil had earlier told jurors how Cooper, on a separate occasion, got “angry” and “angrier” when he refused to eat some food. “Then he started giving me a back-hander. He hit me in the face,” he told the court. This split his lip and resulted in a lost front tooth.

Cooper, of Hillberry Close, Douglas, Isle of Man, and Hadwin, 71, of Raygarth Gardens, Kirkby Lonsdale, each deny the allegations they face.

The trial continues.

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