‘Head spanked me in front of other boys’

Rochdale Observer - - CHILD SEX ABUSE INQUIRY -

A KNOWL View head teacher spanked a pupil who ac­cused Cyril Smith of sex­ual abuse, the in­quiry heard.

Giv­ing ev­i­dence on Mon­day a for­mer Knowl View pupil said Smith touched him in­ap­pro­pri­ately when he was 10 in the staff room at Knowl View.

He said when the head of the school where Smith was a gover­nor - found out, he hit him in front of other pupils in the gym­na­sium.

The in­quiry heard that on one oc­ca­sion Smith had screamed and shouted at the al­leged vic­tim in the school staff room.

The wit­ness said he was then sat on Smith’s knee, and he pro­ceeded to “put my hand on his pe­nis”.

Smith, who was fully clothed, was dis­turbed when a staff mem­ber en­tered the room, the in­quiry was told.

The al­leged vic­tim said he was pun­ished when the then head­mas­ter - John Turner - learnt about the in­ci­dent.

The head­mas­ter “spanked me” on the back­side in front of other boys in the school gym­na­sium, he claimed.

He said Mr Turner ac­cused him of “try­ing to ruin the man’s ca­reer”.

The man, who was a pupil at Knowl View in the early 70s, also told the in­quiry how pae­dophile teacher David Higgins was al­ways ‘mo­lest­ing me’.

He said Higgins would abuse boys dur­ing camp­ing and ram­bling trips and would also come into the boys dor­mi­tory at night un­der the guise of check­ing if any­one had wet the bed.

When asked what Higgins would do the man said: “Put his hands in my sleep­ing bag, putting his hands in my bed.

“He would watch me shower, tell me how to mas­tur­bate in the shower.

“At the time, I didn’t know what mas­tur­ba­tion was.

“I just thought I was wash­ing my­self.”

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