Island man accused of headbutting a pupil

Jury hears of historical assault allegations

A court’s been told how an Island man ‘attacked and head butted’ a pupil in a dining room ‘full of kids’.


Derrick Cooper of Hillberry Green in Douglas is one of five men who deny physical abuse of boys who attended a boarding school in Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria during the 1970s and 1980s.


The 77 year-old was the school’s owner and denies six charges alleging actual bodily harm assault and two child cruelty allegations.


Giving evidence, the former pupil spoke of fighting with another boy in a dormitory before going to the dining hall for tea.


At that point, he claimed Mr Cooper left his table and attacked him, kicking him around the body and picking him up by the scruff of the neck before trying to poke him in the eyes.


When prosecutor Michael Hayton QC asked if he had made a complaint, the witness said he hadn’t as he was ‘pretty hardy’ and thought he deserved to be punished because of the earlier fight with a fellow pupil.


The witness also conceded his time at the private school had ‘turned out to be some of the best years’ of his life’, describing Mr Cooper as ‘jovial’ and ‘pretty fair’ on a day-to-day basis.


He added: ‘I am only here for one thing: for the truth to come out - the trial continues.

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