Ex-teacher denies child sex charges

Peter Merrick, 66, charged with 20 counts of indecent assault and rape against three boys at the William Henry Smith School, Rastrick, in the late 70s and early 80s.
Peter Merrick, 66, charged with 20 counts of indecent assault and rape against three boys at the William Henry Smith School, Rastrick, in the late 70s and early 80s.

A FORMER teacher has denied 22 allegations of sexual abuse against boys in his care.

Peter Merrick appeared at Bradford Crown Court yesterday to answer the 20 charges of indecent assault and two of rape which allegedly took place between 1977 and 1984 at the William Henry Smith School, Rastrick.

The 66-year-old of Burton Road, Overseal, Derbyshire, denies the allegations made by the four boys who attended the school.

The court heard how Merrick was employed at the school as a teacher and later as assistant head.

“Over this period he systematically sexually abused these four boys,” said prosecutor Matthew Bean.

He said the boys were sent to the school because they were difficult children to teach but they needed care and support.

“He deliberately abused that position by commiting these offences,” he said.

The jury of four women and eight men were told that the incidents took place around the school. These included in the headteacher’s room, the shower area, the boot room and his own family’s living area.

It is alleged he molested one of the boys in his car.