Jury find former teacher not guilty on one count and will consider 21 more today

Peter Merrick, 65, charged with 20 counts of indecent assault and rape against three boys at the William Henry Smith School, Rastrick, in the late 70s and early 80s. He appeared at Calderdale Magistrates Court on Tuesday June 21
Peter Merrick, 65, charged with 20 counts of indecent assault and rape against three boys at the William Henry Smith School, Rastrick, in the late 70s and early 80s. He appeared at Calderdale Magistrates Court on Tuesday June 21

A former assistant headteacher at the West Yorkshire residential school has been found not guilty on one allegation of sexual abuse against a male pupil, but his trial jury has still not reached verdicts on a further 21 charges.

Peter Merrick, 66, of Burton Road, Overseal, Derbyshire, has denied a series of allegations relating to his time at the William Henry Smith school near Brighouse in the late 1970s and 80s.

Merrick is alleged to have sexually abused four male pupils who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The jury began their discussions on Monday morning and shortly before the lunch break yesterday they returned a not guilty verdict on one of the 20 charges of indecent assault on a male person.

The Bradford Crown Court jury spent the rest of the day considering the remaining 19 allegations of indecent assault and two further charges relating to serious sexual offences, but they were eventually sent home again at around 4.30pm.

Judge Robert Bartfield told the jury that they would continue their deliberations later this morning.