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Former Witherslack Hall School teachers sentenced for cruelty crimes against boys

Alec Greening and Roger Whitehouse

TWO men convicted of historical child cruelty crimes against boys while working as teachers at a South Cumbria residential school have been handed suspended prison sentences.

Roger Whitehouse, aged 78, and Alec Greening, 69, went on trial at Carlisle Crown Court late last year.

After listening to evidence during a month-long hearing, a jury found Whitehouse and Greening each guilty of single child cruelty offences against different pupils at Witherslack Hall, Grange-over-Sands.

Now adults, they told jurors of incidents around 40 years ago.

Alan Rutty said Whitehouse – a teacher and later deputy head – went to collect him after the boy had pushed and freewheeled a dumper truck to the bottom of a dirt track at a local open face quartz quarry.

Mr Rutty said Whitehouse was “angry” and told him to remove his shoes and socks for a walk of around a mile. “I was prodded and pushed and told to walk up the track where the dumper truck was to start with,” he told the jury. “My feet were cut and bleeding and bruised.”

A second ex-pupil, Peter Taylor, told in his evidence how Greening made him stand outdoors in poor weather for a prolonged period wearing only a PE kit as a form of punishment.

Whitehouse, of Sea View, Haverigg, and Greening, of Dalton, near Burton-in-Kendal – both men of previous good character – strenuously denied the ex-pupils’ accounts, and had since led “four decades of blameless life”, the court was told.

Whitehouse and Greening were given prison sentences of 12 months and eight months, respectively, each suspended for two years. Both men must also complete four-month night-time curfews.

Passing sentence, Judge James Adkin said: “Here I find there was deliberate disregard for the welfare of the victims. You were offenders with professional responsibility.”

The judge added: “You have both lost your good names in the community.”

Trial jurors found Whitehouse not guilty of one other child cruelty allegation, and also two alleged assaults.
Three other former teachers who denied single alleged ABH assaults made by former pupils were acquitted of the charges they had faced.

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