Abuse victims compensated

Adrian Bampton''William Henry Smith School
Adrian Bampton''William Henry Smith School

A school has agreed to pay compensation to 30 former pupils who claimed they were sexually and physically abused.

An out-of-court agreement has been reached between solicitors representing the boys who lived at the William Henry Smith School, Rastrick, and lawyers and insurers of the school, following allegations of historic abuse dating back to the 1960s against a number of staff.

Alan Collins, of Pannone Solicitors in Manchester, confirmed an agreement had been made to avoid the stress of a court case. “I am pleased to have secured settlements for the victims of abuse at William Henry Smith School. They have been incredibly brave in coming forward and naming their abusers and the fact that they have finally achieved just and proper settlements demonstrates that abusers will be brought to justice.

“I hope the settlements bring some sort of closure for them and that they can now continue with the rest of their lives.”

Last year, Peter Merrick, former assistant headteacher at the school, was cleared of 19 charges of indecent assault and two charges of serious sexual assault involving four former pupils after a trial at Bradford Crown Court.