Jury Discharged in Merrick Trial - WHSS

THE jury in the trial of a former assistant headteacher has been discharged after failing to reach any more verdicts. Peter Merrick, 66, was cleared of one allegation of indecent assault on a male person on uesday, but after further deliberations yesterday the jury at Bradford rown ourt failed to agree on any of the remaining charges. Judge Robert Bartfield finally discharged the jury on the 11th day of the trial after they had been considering the evidence in the case for more than 12 hours. Prosecutor Matthew Bean indicated that re-trial was likely.

It is expected that a decision on a second trial will be made over the next few weeks and the case has been listed for a further mention on May 11. Merrick, of Burton Road, Overseal, erbyshire, faced a total of 22 sexual allegations relating to his time at the William Henry Smith School near Brighouse in the late 1970s and early 1980s. he prosecution alleged that while working at the residential school for youngsters with behavioural difficulties Merrick had sexually abused four male pupils between 1977 and 1984. Merrick denied all 22 charges and told the jury of his shock and anger when allegations of abuse were made against him. Judge Bartfield extended Merrick’s bail at the conclusion of the hearing, but said the defendant would not need to attend at the crown court next month.

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Charles has considerable specialist experience in pursuing claims for compensation for those who have been abused in childhood. His specific expertise means that he is recognised locally, nationally and internationally for his work which has taken him all over the world including, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

He is also recognised for his significant involvement in the high profile litigation against St Georges School (Anglemoss Limited) and Cyntwell High School. These cases involved a staggering number of individuals who pursued those responsible whom despite heavily defending the claims brought against them settled by way of out of court settlements.

Charles regularly features in local and national press and he is often asked to provide his professional opinion and commentary on relevant abuse law issues and developments on radio and television broadcasts. Such broadcasts include BBC South Today, BBC Wales, ITV and ITN News.

Charles is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers.

You can follow Charles on Twitter and Facebook.

Charles obtained his Law degree at Kingston University, before successfully completing his Legal Practice Course. He trained and qualified with Verisona Law beginning his specialism in the field of child abuse claims. He received his higher rights of Audience in 2012 making him one of the youngest Solicitor-Advocates in the country who is able to represent his clients in the High Court. Charles is head of the abuse team who collectively have secured compensation for hundreds of victims of abuse.

He began diversifying in to other aspects of abuse law and his team are one of the very few in the country who specialise in claims against social services.

He is involved in complex group action litigation and also represents a number of individuals and who are pursuing private companies, local authorities and perpetrators in pursuit of their justice.

Charles has strong contacts with some of the most prominent barristers who advise on abuse claims including a number of QC’s. He also has robust connections with highly qualified expert witnesses he instructs in support of those who he represents.

  • Child abuse claims
  • Claims against social services
  • Complex/Catastrophic Clinical Negligence claims

"Thank you for all your much appreciated hard work. I will truly never forget your kindness towards me. Your patience, respect and understanding at all times was beyond words. The sincere compassion shown meant more to me than words could ever express. This firm will forever hold a special place in my heart."


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