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Men on trial deny they assaulted pupils at South Cumbria boys’ school

L-R: Trevor Taylor, James Farish and David Hadwin

[T]HREE men accused of assaulting pupils while working at a South Cumbria residential school have told a jury they did not commit any offences.

The trial of four men who all deny alleged historical physical abuse of boys at Underley Hall School, Kirkby Lonsdale, in the 1970s and 1980s has entered its sixth week.

Former owner Derrick Cooper, 77, denies six actual bodily harm assault charges and also two child cruelty allegations.

Three men each deny actual bodily harm assault against separate youngsters. They are James Robert Farish, 58, of Oakwood, Kendal; David Hadwin, 71, of Raygarth Gardens, Kirkby Lonsdale; and Trevor Taylor, 75, of Lower Park Royd Drive, Sowerby Bridge.

Those three men – none of whom have any convictions or cautions to their names – each gave evidence at Carlisle Crown Court today (TUES).

Farish, a teacher, is alleged to dragged one boy out of a classroom, and thrown him around “like a rag doll”. When asked if he had done that, Farish replied: “No, I did not. No.”

Ex-maintenance man Hadwin stands accused of assaulting a boy, along with Cooper and another man, in a shower area. Asked whether that had happened, Hadwin responded: “No”.

Taylor, then a woodwork teacher, responded to an allegation that he assaulted another boy. “I did not put his hand in a vice. I did not hit him with a mallet,” he told jurors.

“I didn’t know him at all, but I wouldn’t have done that.”

The trial continues.

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