Man denies seeking compensation

A man who claims he was sexually abused by a teacher at a residential school has insisted that he is not looking for compensation.

The complainant clashed today with the barrister representing former assistant headteacher Peter Merrick who has denied systematically abusing four male pupils at the William Henry Smith school in Brighouse.

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is the third of the four complainants to give evidence against Merrick at his trial at Bradford Crown Court.

Miss Eleanor Laws QC pressed the complainant about the circumstances surrounding his contact with a firm of solicitors in relation to compensation, but the man insisted that he was no longer interested in a compensation claim.

The man said he had been receiving numerous phone calls and documents about the claim but he had ignored them.

“But the upshot is you are still proceeding with compensation and trying to give the impression that you’re not,” suggested Miss Laws.

“No I’m not,” replied the complainant.

“The point I’m trying to get across is I’m not seeking compensation and I don’t want compensation.”

The man said he had not had any contact with the other three complainants.

“You’re doing your best to distance yourself from having contact with anyone on the internet,” suggested Miss Laws.

“Not really no,” said the man.

The prosecution has alleged that Merrick, 66, of Burton Road, Overseal, Derbyshire, systematically abused four pupils at the school between 1977 and 1984.

He has denied 19 charges of indecent assault and two of buggery.

The trial continues.