Victim says he wants justice

A MAN who claims he was raped by a former assistant headteacher has insisted he wants justice rather than compensation.

Peter Merrick, 66, is alleged to have sexually abused four young boys while he was working at the William Henry Smith School, Rastrick, in the late 1970s and 80s. Yesterday the last of the four complainants gave evidence against him.

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reason, has alleged that Merrick subjected him to a serious sexual assault on one occasion as well as sexually touching him and encouraging him to perform a sexual act on another boy in a tent.

Merrick’s barrister Eleanor Laws QC suggested to the complainant that he was making things up and questioned him about his contact with a firm of solicitors who were seeking compensation for other former pupils.

But the man told Miss Laws that he had not instructed the firm to seek compensation and he was not sure about going down that route.

During her cross-examination the man insisted that he did not way any compensation and he wasn’t bothered about it.

“I don’t want their compensation because what they can give me can’t buy me what I want,” said the man.

During his re-examination of the complainant prosecutor Matthew Bean said it was being suggested that the witness was lying to get money and asked him how he felt about that.

“I’m angry,” replied the man.

“Because I don’t want money. Money can’t get what I want. I want justice. I can’t get justice with a couple of thousands of pounds.”

The man explained that he had finally come forward with his complaint to the police about Merrick’s abuse of him and incidents involving other people throughout his life because he had a breakdown.

“After talking with my partner about everything that had gone on in the past it was her support that made me go to the police and make the statement that I did,” said the man.

Merrick, of Burton Road, Overseal, Derbyshire, has denied 22 charges relating to sexual abuse at the school between 1977 and 1984.

His trial at Bradford Crown Court continues.