Second man appears in court

A SECOND man who claims he was sexually abused by former teacher Peter Merrick has told a jury that he contacted the police after reading about the case in a newspaper report last year.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, saw the article last September and went to the police about three months later.

Merrick, who was assistant headteacher at the William Henry Smith School 30 years ago, is alleged to have indecently assualted the man and three other male pupils between 1977 and 1984.

Merrick, 66, of Burton Road, Overseal, Derbyshire, has denied a series of indecent assault charges and two allegations of buggery.

Bradford Crown Court has heard that Merrick allegedly abused the second man in a shower room at the school, in the headteacher’s office and the boot room.

The man agreed that the regime in the school at the time was based on military lines with corporal punishment and pupils kept under supervision.

He said he did not have a happy time at the school in the beginning, but his behaviour improved and he was able to return to a mainstream school.

Merrick’s barrister, Eleanor Laws QC suggested to the man that he was not prepared to come forward himself about the allegations.

“I just kept it inside,” replied the complainant.

“It was buried ... it was locked inside.”

The man accepted seeing references on the internet to abuse allegations relating to the school and solicitors asking for former pupils to come forward to join a compensation claim.

“You are aware you can claim compensation,” said Miss Laws.

“I presume so if that’s the procedure .. I’ve not clicked on to any of those sites,” replied the man.

The man said he had no contact with any ex-pupils at the school. The trial continues.