Cumbria Crack

Jury hears closing speeches in Witherslack Hall pupil “mistreatment” trial

Carlisle Crown Court

JURORS have been hearing closing speeches by barristers in the trial of five former South Cumbria residential school teachers who deny the alleged historic mistreatment of boys.

Five men, aged from 62 to 78, deny charges alleging assaults or cruelty of boys who attended Witherslack Hall, Grange-over-Sands. It has been alleged that physical abuse occurred there during the 1970s or 1980s.

Barrister Keith Sutton gave a closing speech on behalf of the prosecution at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday.

And counsel for each of the five ex-teachers began delivering their speeches to a jury of nine men and three women this morning (FRI).

More than 30 witnesses – including four alleged victims and the defendants – have given evidence in court during a trial which has reached the end of its fourth week.

The trial judge, His Honour James Adkin, has told jurors the final defence closing speech is due take place on Monday morning before he sums up the case.

The charges faced by the five men are said to arise out of a Cumbria police investigation – known as Operation Tweed – which was launched in the summer of 2014.