Cumbria Crack

Former teachers refute alleged mistreatment of boys at Witherslack Hall

Carlisle Crown Court

TWO more former teachers have told a jury they did not mistreat boys while working at a South Cumbria residential school around 40 years ago.

Five men who formerly worked at the Grange-over-Sands school are on trial at Carlisle Crown Court. They each deny charges alleging mistreatment of boys during the 1970s and 1980s.

One of the men, 68-year-old Andrew Elliot, worked at the school in two spells – first as a community service volunteer and later as a teacher.

A former Aston Villa youth team footballer, Elliot is alleged to have picked a small boy up by his ankles and “launched” him down some stairs.

He denies the alleged assault, claiming he didn’t remember the male who has made that allegation. His barrister, Derek Duffy, asked: “Have you ever thrown anyone down the stairs?

“Absolutely not,” replied Elliot.

“We have heard a great deal about allegations of violence in the school,” said Mr Duffy. “Did you see any of that?”

Elliot, of Main Street, Greatford, Lincolnshire, responded: “Never.”

Another ex-teacher Alec Greening denies one charge alleging cruelty. Asked whether he made a boy stand outside in snow while wearing only PE kit, 69-year-old Greening told jurors: “Absolutely not.”

Asked about good times at Witherslack, Greening, of Dalton, Burton-in-Kendal, stated: “There were so many positives we could be here (at court) a week, easily.”

The trial of the five men – none of whom have any convictions or cautions to their name – continues.

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