Hereford & Worcester

Former St Gilbert's head teacher cleared of child cruelty

David Burns
Image caption David Burns, of Kings Grove, Cambridge had denied all charges during a trial at Birmingham Crown Court

A former headmaster has been found not guilty of child cruelty at a Catholic boys' school in Worcestershire.

David Burns, 87, was cleared of a total of 16 charges related to his time at St Gilbert's, Hartlebury, following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

These were 12 counts of child cruelty, one of actual bodily harm, two serious sexual offences and one charge of indecent assault.

The jury was unable to reach verdicts on three child cruelty charges.

It was discharged while a decision on how to proceed with the final charges will be made at a later date.

Mr Burns, of Kings Grove, Cambridge, had faced a total of 21 charges, two of which were dropped.

He denied the remaining 19 charges against him relating to his time at the school between 1966 and 1971. The school has since closed.

A case against Mr Burns' co-accused, Vincent Rochford, 87, who faced two charges of child cruelty, was dismissed in September.

Image copyright Unknown
Image caption St Gilbert's, which had taught boys who had committed petty misdemeanours, closed in 1986

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