A MAN who claims he was a victim of repeated sexual abuse at a West Yorkshire school has denied a suggestion that he was looking for someone to blame for his difficult life.
A jury heard that the former pupil at William Henry Smith School later wrote a letter from prison to the then headteacher saying he wished he had never left.
Barrister Eleanor Laws QC, who is acting on behalf of former assistant headteacher Peter Merrick, suggested that if the man had been abused as he claimed he would no more wish to go back to the Brighouse school than fly to the moon.
“I had no complaints with the school,” said the man.
“It was not the school that I had a problem with.”
During cross-examination by Miss Laws the complainant broke down in tears as he was challenged over differences in his accounts of the alleged offences going back more than three decades ago.
He said he was “getting confused”, but insisted he was telling the truth about the offences.
Merrick, 66, of Burton Road, Overseal, Derbyshire, has denied a series of sex abuse allegations relating to four male complainants who were all pupils at the school between 1977 and 1984.
During his evidence to Bradford Crown Court the man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said he did not know the other former pupils involved in the case, but yesterday Miss Laws produced evidence from a social network website which included a comment posted by him on the profile page of one of the other complainants.
The man initially denied knowing anything about the website, but went on to admit he had been a member but said he had only been on it once.
Miss Laws also referred to other evidence which indicated that the man had twice run away from the school with one of the other complainants in the case, but the man said he couldn't remember.
The man said he had gone on the website because he wanted to make friends with some of the former pupils and he denied looking at another website which encouraged ex-pupils to go to the police if they had been abused.
Miss Laws suggested that the complainant had contacted the police in 2009 because he wanted compensation, but he denied that.
“What did you think you were going to achieve if it wasn't compensation?” asked Miss Laws.
“Closure on what had happened to me,” said the man.
“So you didn't want money?” asked Miss Laws.
“No,” he replied.
“Was anything said about you having more chance of compensation if this went through the courts?” asked Miss Laws.
“No,” said the complainant.
Miss Laws suggested that the complainant's accounts given in 1993 and 2009 varied ''quite dramatically'', but the man maintained he was telling the truth about the abuse.
She challenged the complainant over his differing accounts about how the abuse had started and a particular incident of attempted buggery.
“Mr Merrick did not abuse you or sexually touch you in any way,” said Miss Laws.
“He did,” said the man.
“You have had a difficult life. Do you think you might be looking for someone to blame?” she asked.
“No,” replied the complainant.
The trial continues.