Former school worker gets court date

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Peter Merrick, 65, appeared at Bradford Crown Court on 20 counts of rape, sex assault and gross indecency between 1977 and 1984.

Merrick, of Overseal, Derbyshire, saw his case adjourned until September 6 for a plea and case management hearing.

The alleged offences centre on abusing boys at the William Henry Smith School, Rastrick.

The pupils were all under 16 when the abuse allegedly took place at the Rastrick school, set up in 1961 for boys with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Merrick, of Overseal, Derbyshire, spoke only to confirm his name and address at Calderdale Magistrates’ Court.

Assault accused is kept in custody

A 44-year-old man has appeared in court charged with assaulting a woman and causing her actual bodily harm.

Mark Antony Crabtree, of Range Court in Boothtown, Halifax, denies attacking Cathleen Blaney on June 2.

Calderdale magistrates remanded him in custody until July 19 when the case will be committed to Bradford Crown Court.

Get in a flap

The Countryside Service are working with Calderdale Bird Conservation Group to build up a picture of the distribution of swallows, swifts and house martins in Calderdale and want anyone to send records which have been mapped.

If you know of a swallow, swift or house martin nest please send details including date and location to hugh.firman@calderdale.gov.uk​

Night of glamour

An evening of indulgence and glamour – Beauty and the Bride – will run this Friday from 7pm to 1.30am at the Shay Stadium.

Tuck into canapes and cocktails before having a two-course meal, watching a fashion show including bridal, prom, party and accessories as well as a hair and make up advice. There will be a late bar and disco until 1.30am. To book please call 01422 264747.​