William Henry Smith School

More former pupils have contacted solicitors representing alleged victims of abuse at a West Yorkshire school after police questioned three men in their sixties on claims of sexual and physical assaults going back to the 1970s. And an ex-employee has claimed William Henry Smith School (WHSS) in Rastrick, Brighouse failed to investigate an assault on a pupil he claims he witnessed just two years ago.

WHSS is a non-maintained residential special school set up in 1920. According to its website it provides high quality education and care for boys with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

In the summer West Yorkshire Police quizzed three men in connection with alleged sexual and physical assaults dating back 30 years before releasing them on bail pending further investigations.

One former pupil, Mark Edson of Selby, believes some former pupils have received compensation, although he was not one of them.

The law firm representing the former pupils, Verisona of Hampshire, would confirm this. But Alan Collins,  the solicitor working on the claims, said: coverage has led to more ex-pupils contacting us. Usually in cases like this one most people do not come forward so I am still looking for witnesses prepared to talk to me about the allegations as I wonder if we are still not getting the entire picture of the full extent of the abuse.

Lee Varey from Halifax was a maintenance worker at the school from 2004 until he quit in 2007. He was impressed by the dedication of the staff and therefore left bitterly disappointed when senior staff members failed to properly investigate an attack I reported on a young man aged 16 in which he was punched four or five times by a staff member.

Varey, who claims this contributed to him leaving his post, said: No one took a statement from him even though there were many staff that knew I was unhappy about what happened.

WHSS was unwilling to respond to questions about Varey claims and whether it had carried out an investigation into them, issuing a statement saying: Any such matters would be protected by Data Protection and as such we are unable to make any comment.


Lisa has more than 20 years’ experience of dealing with Personal Injury matters ranging from road traffic accidents to workplace injury and liability. She offers a sympathetic and professional approach to her clients’ problems and advises on funding options (including insurance and Conditional Fee Agreements.)

Her extensive knowledge of the Civil Procedure Rules, skills in evidence gathering and analysis of liability and causation, and experience in risk assessment and settlement negotiation make her a valuable asset to clients and colleagues alike.

She is also a member of Verisona Law’s Historic Abuse Team and undertakes documentary analysis, work relating to case evidence and the development of legal arguments to secure successful settlements. She is fluent in German and Persian.

Lisa also has experience in Civil Litigation regarding Debt Recovery, Breach of Contract, and Insolvency Law.

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Lisa studied ‘Contract Law, European Law and Employment Law’ as part of her degree in BA (Hons) Business Administration. She has also studied other business subjects, including accounting.

Having completed her degree, Lisa started work for Verisona Law in November 1999 in the Personal Injury department as a Trainee Litigation Clerk and since then has developed extensive skills in relation to personal injury litigation and case preparation.

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