Cumbria Crack

Final two Witherslack Hall trial defendants give evidence to jury

Carlisle Crown Court

THE final two former teachers who deny alleged historical assaults on pupils at Witherslack Hall in South Cumbria around have given evidence to a jury.

Five men – all former staff members at the Grange-over-Sands residential school – are on trial at Carlisle Crown Court. They deny charges alleging the mistreatment of pupils which date back to the 1970s and 1980s.

Michael Lynch, 72, taught at Witherslack for a year. He denies one charge alleging assault on a pupil who has told a jury he was attacked after working on Lynch’s Mini.

But, giving evidence today (WED), Lynch insisted he hadn’t attacked the boy, nor asked him to work on his Mini car, as was alleged. “It never happened,” he said. “I did never hit him, or any other boys.

“Have you ever beat a child at Witherslack?” asked his lawyer, Ellen Shaw. “No,” stated Lynch, of Kirkhead Road, Grange-over-Sands.

Glyn Waterhouse, 62, of Stainton, near Kendal, also denies one alleged assault. He told jurors he “can’t recall” a different former pupil who has told the jury he “got run over” by a minibus-driving teacher while lagging behind on a cross-country run.

Waterhouse, then aged in his 20s, said he actually took part himself in weekly runs for three out of the four years he worked full-time at the school. “I can’t remember any child being followed in a minibus,” he told the court.

His barrister, Tim Evans, summarised the ex-pupil’s allegation: “That you drove up behind him in the minibus and ultimately, how so ever it happened, knocked him over.”

“That never happened. Never,” Waterhouse replied.

Jurors have heard none of the five defendants have any convictions, cautions or warnings to their names.
The trial continues.