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One of five men accused of historical South Cumbria school abuse found not guilty

Carlisle Crown Court

ONE of five men on trial over alleged historical physical abuse of pupils at a South Cumbria boarding school has been found not guilty of the only charge he was facing.

John Studley was acquitted of one assault allegation on the direction of a judge at Carlisle Crown Court.

Mr Studley, aged 66, had denied a charge which alleged that he was involved in the assault of one boy at Underley Hall School, near Kirkby Lonsdale. This was alleged to have occurred during the mid to late 1980s.

Mr Studley, of Silverdale, Lancashire, was found not guilty today (TUES) after the alleged victim gave evidence during week three of the hearing.

After legal discussions, Judge James Adkin told the jury: “Ladies and gentlemen, you have heard evidence from that particular witness concerning his recollection of events at the school.

“In fact, he had been called to deal with count nine on your indictment (the alleged assault by Mr Studley). I am going to withdraw that count from your consideration and there is no evidence to prove the allegation against Mr Studley.

“In due course, a not guilty verdict will be entered. That will mean Mr Studley will no longer be part of the case – he won’t be here after today’s proceedings.”

Mr Studley was formally acquitted of the allegation after jurors had left the court.

Four men remain on trial.

Underley Hall’s 77-year-old former owner, Derrick Cooper, of Hillberry Green, Douglas, Isle of Man, denies six charges which allege actual bodily harm assault, and further denies two child cruelty allegations.

Two former teachers and an ex-maintenance man 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; and David Hadwin, 71, of Raygarth Gardens, Kirkby Lonsdale.

The trial continues.

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