Former Witherslack Hall staff in child cruelty trial
Five former employees of a south Cumbrian school have gone on trial over historical allegations of assault and child cruelty.
The men committed criminal acts against four males at Witherslack Hall, near Grange-over-Sands, during the 1970s and 1980s, prosecutors said.
Children were placed there by local councils after being deemed unsuitable for mainstream education, Carlisle Crown Court heard.
The accused deny all charges.
Roger Whitehouse, 78, of Haverigg, has pleaded not guilty to two charges of actual bodily harm assault and two charges of child cruelty.
Andrew Elliot, 68, of Greatford, Lincolnshire; Michael Lynch, 72, of Kirkhead Road, Grange-over-Sands; and Glyn Waterhouse, 62, of Stainton, near Kendal, all deny charges of actual bodily harm assault.
Alec Greening, 69, of Dalton, near Burton-in-Kendal, denies one charge of child cruelty.
When interviewed by police, Mr Whitehouse said the accusers had "got together and conspired" against him.
The trial, which is estimated to last up to five weeks, continues.