Monday, 19 August 2013

William Henry Smith School, Brighouse

The William Henry Smith School in Brighouse todayThe William Henry Smith School in Brighouse today
Compensation, which could run into six figures, is to be paid to former pupils of a residential boys school at Brighouse who claimed they were physically and sexually abused.
An out-of-court agreement has been reached between solicitors representing the former boarders and lawyers and insurers of the school, following allegations of historic abuse dating back to the 1960s.
The claims were made against staff working at the William Henry Smith School, a residential special school in Brighouse, in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Alan Collins, of Pannone Solicitors in Manchester, who represented 30 former pupils, confirmed an agreement had been reached with the school’s insurers and lawyers to give them compensation for their experiences.

Mr Collins said: “This case has been going on for many years. The people I represented have been, or are to be, compensated in respect of their allegations of physical and sexual abuse in the 1960s and 1970s.
“The allegations involved a range of staff. If they are true, the abuse was endemic at that time.”
Mr Collins said the amount of compensation to be paid was confidential. The sums differed, depending on the nature of the abuse.
He added: “This is an agreed out-of-court settlement, after many years of investigation and litigation.
“This was historic abuse and the school would no doubt say it does not relate to the school now.
“If the allegations are found to be correct this was a school, at that time, that was clearly badly managed and employed totally inappropriate people to look after vulnerable teenagers.
“It was a residential school for maladjusted teenage boys who were in need of additional care and education. In many cases, that was the last thing they got, and just exacerbated their problems.”
One former pupil, who attended the school between 1981 and 1984, said he was being paid £7,500 compensation and £6,000 for legal fees.
The man, now aged 45, said he was beaten black and blue, had his face smashed into a sink, and was sexually abused.
He complained about his treatment to education authorities and his social worker in 2004 and started a campaign and support group.
He said: “I started the ball rolling to get to this point. We always knew what went off at the school. It was disgusting. The school knew full well what was going on.
“It has taken much longer, and been much harder, than it should have been to get to where we are now. It has been a long fight and we have now got some form of justice.
“But we are not going to get proper justice. That would have been the locking up of the staff responsible for what happened to us. Nobody did anything about it.
“It is just a small victory and does not help me with what I have been through.”
Nobody from the school was available for comment.

7 comments:

  1. I was in William Henry from early 90s till 96 my name is dave Clark this school terrified me every god damed week never knowing who you was getting punished for what was going to happen next ..... I do admit to been a problem child but that give no one rite to take away my teen years away I need help and gidence not locked up in a school miles away from home my human rites was taken away an no one wanted to listen so I give up hope a couldn't wait to get out of there in 1996 I left school thinking my life was looking up an went home to live like a normal person but didn't feel safe in the community an jails where home is where I felt safe .... For years this went on... Then my son was born an things looked up for me my life changed so my life now is to bring my son up myself an make sure he's dose not end up lost in system like I did ..... Feeling robbed of my teen years like I had no human rites .... I had more rite in jail with out been twisted up 3-4 staff jumping on you because you didn't want to do something or your dinner from yesterday for ya dinner today or you not having no food where school clothing so we stand out to public just a few things...

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  2. ty for your brave account of life in the school and after.
    glad you have a child to focus on, a reason to fight for a better life.

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  3. Hello my name is Zack miller I attended william henry smith school around 2007 I was assaulted on a regular basis by members of staff I suffered concussions broken blood vessels on my neck cuts bruises and meny other Injurys at the hands of staff at the William henry smith school nobody listened to my claims and at that time been a young child with mental and emotional problems I didn't know how to deal with what was happening to me so one day I decided to defend my self a teacher grabbed my arm and I knew what was coming next so I lashed out and punched the teacher knocking some of his teeth out I was arrested and charged with assault and the teacher in court lied saying that he never touched me and was simply picking up my work when I lashed out witch was a lie and he knew it none of my class where interviewed that witnessed what really happend and I was convicted of assault and I was put in a very dark time for meny years and went into a downward spiral after that i was around 11 at the time and 12/13 when I was charged and taken to court and even now at the age of 21 I've never got justice for what I suffered at this school I'm just glad that these poor people that suffered what they did got some kind of justice

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    1. hello my mames patrick bonner 1 was at the william henry smith school from 1980 t0 1985 and I witnessed all sort of abruse to me and my mates at the time from caining to get draged out of bed in the middle night standing in the playground hands on ur head to assault wictch they claimed to be restraing i think the got of on it it fealt lick a jail than a school for problom kids

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  4. i hope some day we get our justice each and every one us that sufferd willst at the the william henry smith scool i was thear for five years it was a nightmeare

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  5. Hi Everyone...

    WYP as open a "BIG" investigation on this school, action will be taken and jail just around the corner !

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  6. I was in the School from 1981 till 1984 I'll tell you now Crampton Airth Merric and the rest should be locked up for sexually abusing boys they were the most evil & sick people in the School there was others but I'm not going into that one Peter Merrick had us stood in the school play ground with nothing on he and other had us at 2am by the school clock running round the football field, I was sexually abused by Mr Rodrick Peter Crampton & forced to do sexual acts on him to get up the grading system & when I refused I was put back on staff escort and put back down the grading system that's when I made my way home through the night as when you went up the grading system you could go home at weekends even though by law they could not stop us going home at weekends so I left the school and made my way home for weeks at a time all Crampton & Airth Merrick could do was beat me up but that night I was on the rum making my way home Crampton stole my money that was sent by my mother plus he took my cassette recorder & have it to his son

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Thanks for your time and interest