Underley Hall School abuse probe: Six men deny charges

Kendal Magistrates' Court Image copyright Google
Image caption Six men have now been charged and all appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates' Court in Kendal

Six men have denied charges of assault and child cruelty at a school for boys with behavioural problems.

The offences are alleged to have taken place at the former Underley Hall boarding school, near Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria between the 1970s and 1990s.

Derrick Cooper, 76, and Errol Mayer, 72, denied multiple charges of assault and child cruelty.

Fred Trevor Taylor, 74, David Hadwin, 70, James Farish, 57, and John Studley, 65, deny one charge of assault each.

The six defendants entered not guilty pleas at South Cumbria Magistrates' Court to charges of assault said to have occurred between 1976 and 1993, mostly during the 1980s.

Mr Cooper, of Hillberry Green, Isle of Man, Mr Mayer and Mr Hadwin, both from Kirkby Lonsdale, Mr Farish, from Kendal, Mr Studley, from Silverdale, Lancashire and Mr Taylo,r from Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, were bailed and will appear at Carlisle Crown Court on 20 March.

Cumbria police said the charges were part of Operation Tweed, launched in 2014 after reports of "non-recent abuse" in residential schools in south Cumbria.

Underley Hall, an independent boarding school for boys, opened in 1976 and closed in 2012.

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