A teacher on his hands and knees begged a mother to drop her complaint against him. This was alleged at Carlisle Crown Court, where the teacher, Colin West, is accused of indecently spanking young girls. He Claimed it would affect his career if she pressed her complaint about him smacking her 13 year-old daughter's bare bottom after rubbing cream into it.
West, 44, of Millgarth, West Woodside, Wigton, denies six charges of indecently assaulting four girls aged between 11 and 14, and four charges of assaulting four girls, aged between 13 and 14, causing them actual bodily harm. The offences are alleged to have taken place between September 1, 1980, and July 16, 1982. The court heard that West, who is head of the lower school at St. Aidan's School, Carlisle, took one I1-year-old home to punish her.
He told her to change into her nightclothes because the experience was likely to be upsetting and she would want to go to bed afterwards. He then pulled down her pyjama bottoms, rubbed antiseptic cream into her buttocks and hit her twice with a training shoe. At this stage her mother intervened and stopped West hitting Miss A again. The court heard that West had phoned the girl's father, suggesting that a slippering might be a good idea to make her Work harder because he felt she was not achieving her full potential at School. He then rang her mother and said Mr. A had agreed he should administer corporal punishment at the girl's home. After the spanking West offered to rub more cream into her bottom but Mrs. A refused, saying she would do it. In February, 1981, discussions between Mr. and Mrs. A had revealed exactly what had happened and they complained to St. Aidan's head, Nigel Sidaway. Later, Miss Aileen Patrick, now West's wife called on the family, but she was told that the complaint would stand. About 6 p.m. that day West and Miss Patrick called at the house.
"I didn't want them in the house at all," said Mrs. A. "I wanted nothing more to do with them. "But he got down on his hands and knees and he crawled past me crying. "His argument was that he had several letters from parents of pupils who had been treated exactly the same way and it had made them better pupils. Mr. and Mrs. A decided to drop the complaint if West promised that he would never dish out corporal punishment to girls again.
Mrs. A said: "Mr. West took me by the hands and said: 'If I promise you on my word of honour and my career that this will never ever happen again, will you believe me? "I accepted it and said that unless I ever heard of this happening again it would remain forgotten, but if I ever heard of it happening again I would bring this up." In July, 1982, Mrs. A went to the school because she thought West was again spanking pupils. She went armed with a list of girls names to question West whether he had used the cream and the training shoe again. She also claimed he had rubbed a linament on the chest of an 11 year-old and had done Yoga with her partly undressed in a darkened room, behind closed doors after school hours. Mrs A said West admitted rubbing cream on the girl's bottom because she suffered from Psoriasis. He admitted rubbing the linament on her chest because she had a cold and said the Yoga exercises were to help her unwind.
Earlier Mrs Helen Orindrod QC, prosecuting, said that in 1979 West had been told that only female staff should give corporal punishment to girls. And when West smacked the girls it was neither orthodox nor usual. "It exceeded the bounds of lawful chastisement and in the cases where indecent assault is alleged it exceeded the bounds of decency," she added. The case continues.
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