Island man 'punched and slapped' school pupil

Trial continues at Carlisle Crown Court

An Island man ‘punched and slapped’ a pupil at a South Cumbria boarding school, a court has been told.

 

Derrick Cooper of Hillberry Green in Douglas is also alleged to have hung the student on the back of a door.

 

He is one of five men who deny physical abuse of boys who attended a private school in Kirkby Lonsdale during the 1970s and 1980s.

 

 Mr Cooper, who is 77, was the school’s owner and denies six charges alleging actual bodily harm assault and two child cruelty allegations.

 

Yesterday (Monday), a former pupil, David Emmott, gave evidence at Carlisle Crown Court where he told jurors he had been left ‘battered and bruised’.

 

Now aged 53, he said Mr Cooper and another man ‘took it in turns’ to punch and slap him after he had been summoned to an office for cutting another pupil's thumb with a knife.

 

He agreed he didn't tell police about the alleged abuse until 2014 after he saw a television news report.

 

During cross-examination, Mr Emmott said he had revisited the school in later years ‘because there were good and bad times’.

 

He also admitted writing a letter, as an ex-pupil, to Mr Cooper and school, asking ‘how are you, and how is the old place?’.

 

Asked why he wrote that letter, Mr Emmott explained: ‘Mixed up teenager, I suppose’.

The trial continues.

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