Berrow Wood Approved School

Berrow Wood Approved School, Gloucestershire


Abused pupil’s damages claim blocked

The case was heard at the High Court in London

A man who suffered abuse at the hands of teachers has been told by a judge that he cannot sue the education secretary or his local authority for damages.

Michael Gallagher, 27, was seeking hundreds of thousands of pounds in damages for treatment which he claims has left him psychologically damaged and unable to earn a proper living.

But at the High Court in London, Mr Justice Jackson ruled that only Mr Gallagher’s claim against the now defunct Berrow Wood School, near Worcester, can go ahead.

His lawyers will now have to await the outcome of a hearing next month involving the school and its insurers, Sun Alliance, which is saying the school’s policies are not valid for claims involving violence by teachers.

If Sun Alliance wins the action, Mr Gallagher will not be able to pursue his claim against the school, which is in receivership.

Robert Sherman, representing Mr Gallagher, told the judge during the six-day hearing that the case arose out of “the systematic physical and emotional abuse of pupils” who had been placed by local authorities at the independent school – which catered for for children with special behavioural difficulties.

Assault and cruelty

Mr Gallagher was a pupil at the school from 1984 to 1987 and although complaints were made to Hereford and Worcester County Council, no action was taken until police made an investigation in 1991.

Six teachers at the school received various jail terms for offences including assault and cruelty.

The court was told that Mr Gallagher was sent to Berrow Wood when he was 16 and, during his three and a half years at the school, was violently assaulted by Alan Gorton, the school’s owner and principal, headmaster Ronald Morris and head of care Philip Gray.

Since leaving school, Mr Gallagher had had a series of jobs and served a prison sentence for robbery.

He told the judge in evidence that he did not think about making a claim against the school until he gave evidence during the police investigation into the school in 1991.

Mr Gallagher said he was not told by lawyers that he could sue the local education authority or the Department for Education until years later.

But the judge ruled that both had no duty of care to Mr Gallagher personally and that his claim against them was too late to be valid in law.

However, he added that Mr Gallagher could go ahead with his claim against the school – which could arguably be held liable for his treatment by the teachers.

‘No rights’

Mr Gallagher, who lives in south London, said in a statement after the hearing: “Whilst I was at the school and suffering under the regime of violence I complained and said I have rights. I was told by the principal of the school that `The only rights you have here are to eat and breathe’.

“The difficulty I have with the decision today is, yet again, I am being told by the system of justice that I have no rights. In particular, no rights against the local authority and Department of Education who knew that the school was assaulting pupils.

“I cannot accept that it is in the interest of public policy that they had no duty to take any action. It might be in the interest of the legal system to prevent claims of this nature.

“Can it really be said by the judge alone that it is in the public interest that such public bodies who know of the abuse and have the power to prevent it are not obliged to prevent it?”

Mr Gallagher’s solicitor, Chris Whiteley, said: “We are deeply disturbed by this decision and will be exploring avenues of appeal either to the Court of Appeal or the European Court of Human Rights.

“It cannot be right that a local authority owes one duty to those children who it places in their own schools and a different duty to those it places in independent schools.”

BBC News 09/02/99

152 responses to “Berrow Wood Approved School

  1. Russell Southgate

    I too was assaulted by Ron Morris who was a sadistic monster.
    He had no place being in charge of any one, let alone vulnerable children

    • Hello Russell remember me Laurence I was there between 79to81 I had a problem with Phil or Paul roadway the games teacher he was odd what can you tell me about him I’m sorry you had to go through that with morris

      • John payne

        RON MORRIS I REMEMBER HIM WELL HE USED TO SCTRAGGLE US TILL WE BLACK OUT WE DID COMPUTER CLASSES IN HIS CLASS ROOM HE KEPT A BUNCH OF FENCING SWORDS ON HIS WALL HE WAS IN DEED AN EVIL MAN!!!MY NAME IS JOHN PAYNE

      • Markashleysmith68@gmail.com here. Morris actually hit me round the head with a fencing sword and Holland made me stand on desk in class and tell pupils the reason I’m there is coz nobody wants me. There was also bullying and grooming in dormitories.
        Mark Ashley Smith

      • Mark Highton

        Morris was an evil tosser with some kids. Luckily he never bothered with me . I found Holland an Griffith’s ok.dixon was a prick.rodway was wierd along with that mad music teacher

    • Mark Highton

      I remember a few .John I remember you haha.breaking seal on fire exit on top landing go for a smoke.grade5 again

    • Chris

      Hello Russell ;) We were good friends at Berrow Wood, and yes, Morris was/is a monster, literally. And so were many of the other teachers and housemasters: Morris – Holland – Johnson – Bradstock – Krautoff – Wise – Carvell – and there were more who I can’t remember. There was even a ‘housemother’ who came to work there, she used to sexually abuse me in my dorm at night. Quite how the place was EVER allowed to exist is a total mystery to me. I think that many of us should get together and sue them all. I do hope you’re doing well and the scars have healed/healing ;) Chris

    • Dear friends, my name is mark Ashley Smith. If anyone still wants to pull together to sew these bastards let’s pull together and do something instead of just words, Mark Ashley Smith 1980-1984 nightmare years

  2. keith davey

    I went to that school and what I went through I need a medal as I was abuse and a lot more but nobody gives a shit ok

  3. Darren Ingall (Warnett)

    I ran away when I was 15 owing to the abuse (not reported here) and was one of the only kids apparently not to return. This place really damaged me and the memories have cause me so many problems in later life.

    • Jason ayres

      The school was a joke who’s staff thought it right to pin you up walls threatened us with violence and touch me up in bed remember Mrs gorton you hag after having this kinda abuse in these sort of schools you start to think it’s normal and ok for them to carry on

    • Steve Dungey

      I went to bws too hated it nothin nice to say about the place should never had been a school should never been run by exmilatry all the staff had been in armed forces yeh i fucked about i only got punched by morris once never again so i kept runnin away my name is steve dungey

  4. steven dungey

    i went to berrow wood school in 1980 -81 they couldnt handle i was too much im glad it closed should never have been a school all ran by ex milletry fuckin joke

    • Can’t remember you but I am glad and grateful that your showing those bullies up for what they really are including the night watchman with the white hair bye for now

      • Kurt Manley

        I remember you Laurence, spent time in the same dorm, bottom landing, dorm 8 I believe, with Peter Woottan

      • Laurence

        Hi Kurt you were my best friend there as I remember it message me on Facebook and we can have a chat I’m laurence Hunaban @gmail.com

    • Neil gow

      I left berrow wood ( hell hole ) school in 1979 .
      The abuse I came under has left me scared for life
      By what I have read it hasn’t changed over the years . the beatings , the sexual exploits were rife the mental n physical torture , I hope Mr wise n co all rot in hell . the best think to do is burn it to the ground .

      • Chris

        Neil Gow (Paws) I used to call you because you had very bid hands lol :) you were my best friend at that place, my name is Chris Richardson #22 It was a dreadful place, so dark, so much went on, so much abuse and on so many levels. I think we should all get together and sue the Gov. I hope you’re well and thank you for being my friend while you were there, you made a difference to me. Chris

  5. i was there between 1980 & 1984 and made to stand on my school desk in class with my hands on my head and told told by the teaher Mr.Holland to say to the class that quote”the reason i’m hear is because nobody loves or wants me”.If you were sent to the office for unfair punishment you were held by 2 members of staff whilst Mr.Johnson(headmaster)or Mr .Morris (deputy headmaster) repeatedly beat you.Having seen this post i am now going to report abuseby other pupils as well as staff @ this school.

  6. kieran devlin

    b.f.skinner was my psychiatrist

    • Tony adams

      I was there from 79ish to 82 , Morris was a sadistic bastard ,loved to take his shit out on kids , my stepdad was like that ,” out of the frying pan ” .

  7. I was there and was one of the children who was instrumental in closing it down. When Alan Gorton found out I had been whistle blowing to my parents he made my life a living hell. He even had me attend a psychiatrist in an attempt convince me that I was making it all up. In the end it took my parents whitenessing Mr Gray, or the massive lump Morris was it?, punching a student in the gut. They took me out of the school that day and weeks of behind black glass interviews followed. I was around 10 when this happened. When I finally had my compensation hearing (19 years old now) my lawyer was unaware I had been to prison as a juvenile. Completely unprepared led to 0 compensation to due my theft from tax payers in my teens. How insulting and frustrating! I served my time and accepted my punishment and changed my life but cannot believe I was viewed as a 19 year old with a record and not an innocent 10 year old child! All this abuse happened before my crimes and that should not effect what they did to me. Its a joke that it takes 9 years to get to court and I highly doubt that if I robed a bank or stole a MP’s car etc…that later was indited for fraud or some such I would be able to admit fully to the crime but get away free on the basis that the person/establishment/property I stole belong to someone/business that had been convicted of a crime!

    • Both Morris (biology) the fat bastard and Gray (woodwork) were sadistic and dangerous though they kept a wary eye on me they never raised a hand.. they knew I certainly wasn’t going to take it. Both of them were completely unfit to teach. Can’t say bad about Mr Johnson though, to me he was always a fair and decent man as were Bernie and Peter Wise.

    • Gordon Bath (was Saunders)

      Hi Jason, long time no see. If u remember me I was your best mate at Berrow wood I witnessed that attack too it was Phil gray and my dad pulled me out two days after if I remember correctly my bed was opposite Adrian fryers and on the right as you came into the second dorm remember we used to sneak out the fire exit up into the woods for a sneaky fag lol I did have some bad memories of that shit hole but thanks to u I had some good times too thanks for been my best friend email me on tylerbath@rocketmail.com and we can arrange a meet up sometime ok

      • Jason ayres

        I do how are hope life has been good to you. The last thing i remember from that place was that police investigation cos of taffy getting battered that was sick glad I stopped it when I did. Mate all this and all the other schools I went to nothing will ever be done about it because there’s too much to deal with imagine all the cases up and down the country people in position of trust doing what they did knowing nobody would believe us anyway. Sorry mate all this has toucheda nerve message me on Facebook it’s Jason lenny ayres

    • Jason ayres

      It was me too who helped get it shut there’s plenty more to come out about this death camp I’m sure

  8. I too was at this school from 78-80/1 after leaving another similiar in everyway school (Heanton 75-78) I have mentally blocked out those years because of what happened at both schools – Unfortunately both these schools had an affect on my later years, my life pretty much went the same way as most, the usual crime/prison/criminal record etc.

    But the decision to put me into these approved type hell holes was my mothers doing, and for that reason I’ve disowned her as a mother and a person, I also resent her and have done so ever since the late 80’s, that woman is just a person to me and nothing else for what she has done and put me through (I later found out it was her decision and no-one elses).

    Since the mid 90’s I turned my life around with a big change, and now cannot complain, but those years are a time in my life I wish to block out & for that reason I don’t talk to anyone about it for fear of being a social outcast or being finger pointed at..

  9. Remember lads, you were not a name but a number… the school grading system was complete bollocks. Made Grade One within a few weeks, probably to buy me off from raising any issues about the School. Most of us were only fourteen though… didn’t have much power!

    Heard Morris and Gray were jailed. Completely unsurprising!

    • Andy no.27

      Pretty much the same story as all you guys. I was there from 81-84. Luckily I broke my arm and was sent home just before the holidays and after spending12 weeks at home my mum finally saw sense and didn’t send me back I also have to give credit to Skinner the shrink who gave me a good reference. Morris was the worst, sadistic bully who would choke you with your own tie if you talked in his class. I only hope that when he got put downhe bumped into a couple of old berrow boys and got beaten shitless on a regular occasion. Holland was pretty evil along with some twisted women who I can’t remember but she used to fine us all the time. Good guys were Johnson Hastings and Dixon. I never had a problem with Gray but I have heard dodgy things about him which make sense in hindsight. I was young and didn’t realize what was going on at the time when some lads got invited into his room to watch films. I also block out that part of my life and don’t really tell or talk to anyone about it. I also spent a lot of time in courts over my younger years and came very close to getting a sentence a couple of times. Luckily I met an angel when I was 23 who showed me not everyone in life is nasty. Now life is pretty good, were still together and have 2 great kifs, nice house, good jobs. I just look at it as everyone gets dealt some shit cards its just mine happened to be when I was 11-14. Saying that the internet is a powerful thing we didn’t have in our day and we should use it to our advantage. I would still like to pay back Morris for all the pain he caused me. So if anyone knows where he is I’d like to know. I’m smart enough now to destroy him and his life without actually getting in any trouble. I still watch the film sleepers and think that I hope that happens to Morris. Hope all you guys have managed to come out the other side. Shout out to my dorm mates. Lewindon, Palmer,Carter-king, Parker, guilfoyle, Pearson, and my big bro Whittaker who kept a lookout for me.

      • Ray whittaker

        Hi andy, how are you mate hope your doing we’ll try and reply back mate and we can have a catch up….

    • Does anyone remember Mark Ashley Smith no21 Cotswold

  10. mark highton

    Mark Highton i was here in 84 but luckily got booted out, i was off every chance i got….the place was a hell hole for kids. i recognise a lot of the names, some good lads who deserved better…most of memories are good ones funnily……tried not to dwell on the shit ones

  11. Gary Hall

    Gary Hall
    1985-1988
    Never experienced a teacher as bad as Ron Morris! On a few occasions got me around my throat.

    I was set upon by four sixteen year olds names James Collier from London,
    John Payne, Jason Barker, and Glenn Furlong from Wigan. The staff were fully aware as i reported the incidents to Mr Alan Gorton all he ever wanted to do is to walk his Jack Russell’s and spend time with his son Simon and never followed the accusation through.
    I was put I a dormitory and put against a wall and told not to move, where there was four 6th formers as named above on my e-mail.i would rather of spent time in prison as this was no way to treat a 13 year old child it finally comes to say it’s left me scared and never made me a better person when I left but now I’ve moved on but one thing I will say is that Erie hunt my pe teacher was an inspiration and had a very good heart towards all kids and all he wanted was the best for the kids at berrow wood as when I was spending time there me and a friend James cook sometimes visited Ernie
    At his house in Ledbury to watch football in the days he played for Coventry and man city as we often see Hereford United play . Just to mention that I ran away from berrow wood before and that I was returned to school I only got as far as Gloucester and I had no fare to get back to pendock I starting walking and is was around 9 miles away before I knew it it was pitch black walking down country lanes at the age of 14 and I suddenly realise this minibus pull up beside me and there was good Ernie to save the day to take me back to the school I dreaded in some respect it reminded me of Texas chainsaw massacre back in the days as where you try and get away from a bad place then taken back .

    • John payne

      IM SO SORRY THAT HAPPENED GARY I DON’T REMEMBER BUT I WAS ALSO BEATEN UP MANY MANY TIMES THERE TOO THAT’S JUST THE WAY IT WAS!!!!!!

      • Mark Highton

        I heard he died.one of the few good ones. I loved running root in end ,couldn’t believe my luck when bootpolish head said get your stuff
        We’re throwing you out haha. It was dog eat dog at times

  12. I was at this shit hole 80 to 84. My name is mark Ashley Smith and I was abused by pupils and staff. We were not malajusted the school was. Please reply if any one who I did get on with gets this, God bless

    • Chris

      Hi Mark, this is Chris Richardson Number 22 I was there from 78-82 I remember you very well and yes, the place was a total disgrace. Looking back at what went on and by whom, I can’t believe it existed, but as we all know, and sadly so, it certainly did. I think that ALL of us should get together and sue whomever we can? Even the British Gov for allowing it to go on? But I still have a hard to if I think about it all, so much abuse on so many levels, physical, sexual, mental. So many boys so deeply hurt by the place and the names of the abusers come up again and again: Morris – Holland – Griffiths – Tenant – Johnson – Wise – Gorton – Carvel – Krautoff –
      Symonds… ALL of these guys are known to us as abusers, in one way or another. They should not be allowed to get away with it and ALL of the local councils, who put us there, should pay us compensation for having to survive such an abusive environment. I hope you’re doing OK? Chris

      • Roy Goff

        You say mr grifits and Luther’s let me tell you l don’t know wha school you went to but this never happened when I was there there was one man he was a doom master forget his name me Philips new him

      • Roy Goff

        Mr wise was the the man that Mr Johnson was the head master Mr Griffis was the teacher I don’t see no problems

      • Russell Southgate

        Is that Christopher Richardson.

      • ed

        Chris mate you were a decent guy, Eddie Singh here….. yeh was a bad school but at least us lads stuck together most of the time ))) it was like a war zone! Morris was a psycho…. my god he was bad.

      • ed

        Russ… will email you… ed

  13. Hi there, I remember the night watchman, fuckin weirdo he was. Do you know of anyway of showing up these bullies for what they are? Please respond take care, Mark Ashley Smith

  14. Ray whittaker

    Hi my name Whittaker number 31 I was at the school 81 to 84 just been reading all your posts I agree with you lot about mr Morris who was a horrible bully can’t remember the woodwork teachers name he also was a bully, if I ever come across mr Morris I would like to have a tie on me !!!!

    • Kurt Manley

      Hey Raymond “Bulldog” long time no see mate, how’s life treating you, remember Alexander Bell haha

      • Ray whittaker

        Hi Kurt…. Hope life is treating you ok and how could I forget Alexander bell the fucker broke my nose lol just gutted to hear so many of you suffered during the time you were their …..keep writing messages it’s good to hear from you all

    • John payne

      MR GIFFIS NO??? THE ONE WITH THE HANDLE BARS MOUSTACHE

      • Mark Highton

        I heard he died.one of the few good ones. I loved running root in end ,couldn’t believe my luck when bootpolish head said get your stuff
        We’re throwing you out haha

  15. Hi whittaker, my name is mark Ashley Smith and I was abused by pupils and staff at berrow wood school between 80 and 84. I fuckimg hated that place. I was not malajusted the school was and the teachers and most of the other kids. The name of the woodwork teacher was mr. Davis if I’m right and he was a prick too. I’m really sorry you had to go to that hell hole. I hope it has not damaged you too much, best wishes Mark Ashley Smith.

    • Kurt Manley

      the wood work teacher was called John Dixon

      • Hello Kurt I hope your keeping ok I am glad you remember me cause we spent a lot of time together on the dormitory near the dining room I really thought you were a good guy and we always got on well please message me on my email address Laurence hunaban0@gmail.com or Laurence hunaban on facebook I got a picture of a yellow campervan on there bye take care

  16. Pete

    Hello to all of you
    Don’t know if you remember me
    My name Pete Williams
    I was there from 1982-1987
    Get back to me!!

  17. Alec cox

    Hi guys do you remember Alec cox 34 from camberley I was there from 82 to 84 I found it ok you made the best of a bad job the 1st summer i was grade 5 and the 2nd summer i was grade 1 and I stayed there until I left. I was picked on a bit but not much. And Ron Morris is dead Peter Wise told me he died of a heart attack.

  18. Ron Morris died of a heart attack. That is so funny. He fucking deserved it the abusive child beater. Mark Ashley Smith

  19. glynn lewis

    Hey guys what about me grey, always hated the scouse git remember rides on the lawnmower i am thinking of making a Facebook page so we can find each other, ill set the group up under Berrow wood school, burton

  20. Hello 👋 anyone remember me…. wayne rudge….. I would like to no if anyone received compensation. I got refused cuz of my criminal record. And why did I have a criminal record, I tell ya why because of tha place messed me up to much to want to do anything with my life…. It’s a pity we didn’t realise how much that place would play havoc with us later on in life… I had it ruff like the rest of you. But the one I felt sorry for was zak Harris (I still see him now) in my time there he had the worst I ever seen…….. Yes morris was a bully so was holland and Gorton

    • I’m sure I remember you when we was all having a fag in the woods on the motor bikes and you kicked me in the eyer lol how are you and where do you live mate my name then was David hampson now mellor hope to here from ya soon

  21. Berrow wood what a long effect it has on ur life

  22. Darren Warnett

    Watch this space. hopefully it will all happen later this year then I can publish my book about the abuse I experienced in Berrow Wood.

  23. Jason ayres

    I was there and many others like it from the age of 7 at the time i thought it all normal with going to 3 other schools much worse I was battered in the showers by 3 teachers and that was covered up saying they where rstraining me lol from being hit like a rag doll bruising all over me that school as well as all the others places like these should be monitored why was it acceptable then and now people want to listen places like that fucked my life up I will never get it back and my home life wasn’t any better so no wonder I took drugs from the age of 11 yes yet another in thousands in sure but no one wanted to know then and I’m pretty sure no one does now. Social services eat my arse. If I done to my kids now what i went through I’d be hung no doubt.

  24. Roy Goff

    Hi I’m Reading some pretty serious stuff about berrowood I was there in 1976 to 1978 mr Johnson was the head man Mr Griffis was the best is there anybody there at the time I was my name is Roy Goff number 50

    • Chris

      I remember you Goffy :) I used to call you ‘Paws’ because you had very big hands, like a bears paws, hence the nickname lol My name is Chris Richardson and I was number 22 – Hope you’re well and happy ‘Paws’ ;)

      • Roy Goff

        Chris nice To hear from you it’s been awhile do you know of anyone else that was there at the time where do you live what are you doing now

      • Darren ayres

        Hi Chris, remember me Darren States?. I will never forget you, it was the first time in Morris’s class at the top of the driveway when you said ” can you still have sex with a girl when she is on “. We just creased up laughing.

        Darren ayres

      • darren ayres

        i was there from 1975/6 until 1981

      • darren ayres

        i was just that number like everyone else, i was number 20

  25. Russell Southgate

    Is that Christopher Richardson.

    • Chris

      Yes it is Russell #22 :) We’re still alive brother!!! Hope you’re doing well, I remember your smile, crazy hair and table tennis skills lolol and that girl you dated, Theresa?? Berrow wood left a lot of scars for me, you were not one of them. Take care :) Chris

  26. I was there at the end , I remember Mr Lardner punching Craig Roberts in the gut,

    I was called Geoffrey Fox back then,

  27. Sally

    Hi. I’m sure it was a group of boys from Berrow Woood school that use come and visit Northway Youth club, Tewkesbury on a Friday night. This would of been in 88-90 possibly…two age groups on a minibus. I remember a guy called Michael and the other Stephen. I wonder if any of you guys remember this at all…you all seemed so please to get out for the night. I always wondered what happened to them all.

    Thanks Sally

  28. Darren

    Wish me luck been waiting for years now to have my day in court and tell my story. 5 days before hearing he pleaded to ill to attend court. Its now been relocated nearer where the dirty little shit lives and I get to face him in April. Can’t wait!

  29. David Philip hampson in the school I was.hi I was in that school bk in the 80s /90sand I remember all the times I had the cane in Mr Gorton’s office and over your fking nukkles thought he was aloud to do these things to kids whot a horrible basterd and that fucking weardo Morris I was the one he punched in the stumock and the fker said to me all you fking do here is eat and breath you little basterd and all the fking wrong ones teachers and fucking care staff that’s whot they were meant to be called was far from it evil twats thts whot they where I remember that Philip gray as well whot a wanker he was when you finished school he would be at the boot room when you use to polish your shoes and go and show him if they weren’t done Wright he would twats you with one ov them and spit at you and say get them done properly you little prick and that other care worker owe use to be in his room slot she was getting fked by him he is a wrongen. And banna man they other fucking care worker can’t remember his fucking name owe use to come to ya room at night and rag you down stairs by your arm for making a little noise so he could smash your head off the wall and say stand there you little good for nothing pice of shit anyone remember the clock near that massive stain glass window where we use to go in the dinner room not the second one up the steps the first one remember everything that went on at that school and it’s a wonder I am alive now after going threw whot many off us use to go threw EVIL berrow wood the torcher school thats all that was and tht son of Mr Gorton’s he was a EVIL cunt as well we still need to all get InTouch and get them fucking cunty teachers and evil twat peddo staff sent down again something needs to be done fucking berrow wood scum staff and scum teachers peddoes thts all they are by for now needs sorting

    • O I forgot we where all numbers lol I was number 5 David hampson

    • Lee Moorey

      Hello David
      I was there for 2 long years 86 to 88 no 32 in the dorm obove the boot lockers,I would love to know who came with me to Weston-supermear in the holidays with that pedo mr Hastings when he tried to abuse us in a B and B .
      The ones who are still alive are under investigation again and I hope they go down for a long time,the damage they done to all of us they deserve to ro in prison for life.
      It only ended for me when I ran away for the 3rd time ,I kept telling the police and social service what was going on when I was caught for the 1st and 2nd time but no one listen to me and that Gorton coverd it up he hated me for that and made my life hell thats why I was determined not to go back after running away for the 3rd time.took me 4 days to get back to surrey walking in fields so the police and Gorton and his son did not catch me,when I got back to Surrey I lived in my mates attic for six months so no 1 would find me.i try not to think about them days but sometimes small things trigger it off so I know just how angry you are mate and all of you.lets just hop they do more time as they deserve nothing less.

      • David Mellor

        Hi lee. I don’t recall going. To Western supermare but I’m sure we ran away together there was 4 off us and we all fked off one night and we where on the run till the morning and when we got caught we got hammerd coz them two women care staff came to pick us up in that white school bus can you remember them two one where skinny and the fat one use to smoke in the bus and the skinny one use to shag that peso Mr gray the fking wanker the one that made a mock of me in the dinner hall one tea time when he took all the privliages off everyone and said it was me that’s caused it wanker he was and that Mr Morris when a few of us caught him masterbating in his class room the dirty pedo basstered and his slipper whot he use to leather us with and his sawds he use to shit us up with them pokeing them in your belly and as go for Mr Hastings the one who made us stand under the fucking clock all night and if you moved he slammed your head in the wall. O well it was a horrible school wish I didn’t stay there that long it fucked my life up with not having a normal childhood and at home it went to good nether hay lee mate if you want to chat off this page find me on FB David Philip mellor hope to chat soon lee

      • Howarth

        Miss mcabe was the fat care teacher

  30. Barry Desmond Newton Hastings (housemaster) Berrow Wood School was today convicted by unanimous verdict of 2 counts of sexual assault on a child under 16. I was that child and very soon I get to tell my story on my website lifeafterchildabuse.com.

  31. Lee Moorey

    Good I’m glad to hear that,when will Hastings be sentenced and what are you expecting him to get??

    • Darren

      Sorry I can’t make any other comments yet.

      • Lee moorey

        Ok,what year did you attended Berrow Wood

      • Darren warnett

        82 until I ran away in 85

      • Lee Moorey

        I just missed you then 86 till I ran away because the exact reason as above and more.good on you for facing him and getting justice.

      • David Mellor

        Very abusive school physical mental and the rest wish people would of listened when it was going on instead of brushing it under the carpet glad it’s not open anymore wish I never went fked me up even now çarnt settle down with things whot went on there absolute fkin shit hole some of the teachers where fine but the majority of them where abusive and the care staff where the same Mr gray was a wanker hope the old fucker has rotted now horrible cunt he was and them two woman çarnt remember there names now but they threw me out the dinner hall where we all use to go one night from having my tea and a starved all night discusting school

  32. Robin hempstead

    Does anyone remember mr Massey a serial abuser at barrow wood

    • Andrew Holder

      I remember Mr.H.Massey there as he was there from Saturday 18th February 1967 to Saturday 18th October 1969 and Robin Hempstead number 30 from Wednesday 11th September 1968 to Wednesday July 30th 1969 and also Mr.D.J.Harbert used to make fun of Robin Hempstead in class as well about his eyes,etc

  33. My name is Roger Naylor number 38 at berrow from 76,79 anyone else feel fucked off that were still being fucked by the system 40+years later

    • darren ayres

      roger naylor, well i’ll be, darren ayres number 20 here, remember we both had honda cr 125’s. you used to do the dancing with ainscoe.
      hows it going. I was there from 76 to 81

      • David Mellor

        Yeah fked off big time with the sistem it’s appuling discrasfull

      • Of course I remember you Darren we was good mates, and I remember us both being chucked about by various members of staff, how’s life treating you mate all good I hope?

  34. Andrew Howarth

    I spent 1 year at Berrow wood, it was the last year before it got closed down for the abuse that went on in there. I remember we went on a weekend day trip to malvern, when we got there we went to the local DIY shop and bought a tin of evo stick and some bags headed down to the park and got off our faces. The next thing I remember I was in the back of a police car. After a short stay in the cells we got taken back to school and sent to the middle landing TV room (i think) the was a member of staff can’t remember his name but used to call him banana man ( you wouldn’t say it to his face) anyway he was giving us all a load of shit calling us druggies and all sorts, one of us said to him fuck off banana man! He lost it big time chased the lad around the room caught him by the window which was open and started strangling him… Someone’s parents were walking past the window at the time. It wasn’t long after that it got closed down.

    • Andrew Howarth

      The same day that happened I was in the kitchens with miss mcabe and Alan Gorton punched me in the wind pipe thought I was going to die 😨

      • Geoffrey Fox

        I remember Mr Larner did that , I think , to Craig Robert’s, also Morris hit you and someone in his classroom ,

        Almost 30 years later and we still remember it like it was yesterday

  35. Former Pupil

    Does anyone have a link to a news story about the criminal trial that happened in Wolverhampton in what must have been 1992-1994? I was going to give evidence (as someone assaulted), but they pled guilty on the first day of the trial. I’m guessing (hazy memories) that it would have been the nasty Gorton son, Mr Morris and Mr Gray.

  36. James Neale

    I was there in 1988-89, i was at Holbrook Manor in Hereford to start with which was a school that was also linked to the Gortons, Holbrook got sold and all us kids from Holbrook got shifted on to Berrow Wood, my god it was a nightmare that nothing could have prepared us for, i was only 10 years old at the time and just remember nothing except being frightened from the moment i woke up until i went to sleep, Morris was an evil bastard but the one who really terrified me was Grey, there was also a freak who used to be fanatical about American football and the Miami Dolphins, i think his name was Mr Larner and can remember being smacked about by him a few times, i too also got interviewed by the police about my time there in 1990, the worst incident that happened to me was when we went to a park one day and i fell from the top of a slide and cracked my forehead open, i needed a fair few stitches in my head but a few days after that i fell out with a kid who had also been at Holbrook with me before Berrow Wood, he was an older lad and much bigger (i think his name was David Wilson) that bastard Morris encouraged him to take a pop at me so he smashed me in the face with a chair and opened up my stitches again while Morris just stood there finding it funny while i screamed in pain and blood pissed out of my head, my life also followed the same path as many others from there as i struggled through my youth, being in such an evil place at such a young age left its mark on me, im now 40 years old with my past firmly behind me but i never felt justice got truely served in the early 90’s, the horrors inflicted in that place should have seen many staff members spending many years in jail, they all got off far too light.

    • Andrew Holder

      Mr.Hayward used to be at Berrow Wood School along with his wife matron Mrs.Hayward and Mr.Hayward left Berrow Wood School at the end of September 1967 and went to Holbrook Manor School,Hereford and his wife went there along with Mrs.Garner after Christmas 1967 and five boys from Berrow Wood School started there from January 1968 which were,David Garner,Martin Knowles,Bernard Shaw,Martin Ellis and Andrew Woodlard

  37. Andrew Howarth

    They did get off far to light! Did they get sentenced to 1 year in prison each?

  38. I might get a slap for posting this but if anybody is interested convicted paedophile Barry Desmond Newton Hastings is due to be sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on the 16th August. This after he collapsed on the way to court for sentencing in June. Now I get to make my victim statement that is about a mile long and any support would be well received :).

  39. Andrew Holder

    I was a pupil at Berrow Wood School from Thursday 5th January 1967 to Wednesday 29th March 1972 and while I was there some of the staff were nasty to us pupils then,by making us eating foods what we did not like,etc

  40. If anybody near Canterbury crown court on the 16th? Should get too see Hastings jailed if all goes well. Don’t know what time till the day before. He collapsed on the way to receive his sentence last month.

  41. darren

    Barry Hastings jailed for 7 years for sexual abuse of a child under 16. Me and somebody else from Berrow Wood were there to see him jailed. Now my site is live lifeafterchildabuse.com maybe read the book

    • Lee Moorey

      Wow just read your book and how true it was, a mirror image to my time there down to Surrey social services not taken action or listening to a problem child.
      1986 number 32 till I run away

    • Chris

      Why don’t we all bring about a class action law suit? Many of us who attended ‘Berrow Wood’ deserve to be heard and the relevant governing bodies need to be held accountable. I was beaten senseless many times, Morris was a sadistic bastard of a man who should NEVER have been allowed to work with ANY children, which is what we were, just kids. Many of us had already suffered greatly, ‘Berrow Wood’ just made things far worse. the fact that the place was closed because of the abuse there give credence to the cause. So, which of you would join me in a class action law suit? Chris Richardson #22 (78-82 – time served)

  42. Darren

    Well if I get my way and enough of you post a link to my site on Facebook an MP with some clout will get involved or atv station will ask for an interview.

  43. Lee Moorey

    Best news I’ve heard in a long long time that Hastings got 7 years,that little shit use to say I was as sly as a fox as I refused to let that pedo have any sexual satisfaction with me, hence I was made out to be a troublesome boy and never got above grade 3 allways -1 -2-3 you could never win just survive.
    . I hold Surrey social service responsibly for the mental damage that school did to me,it was pretty obvious something was badly wrong with that school however they did nothing.hopefully my lawsuit against them will expose there shocking failings

  44. Darren

    The Surrey Ad refused to place my advert this week. Inappropriate apparently. Google took it on though. Hopefully it will be in the Sun next week.

  45. darren

    This should rove interesting:
    Chief of Legal Department,
    Surrey County Council
    County Hall, Penrhyn Rd,
    Kingston upon Thames
    KT1 2DN
    Some time ago, about 8 years now I made a complaint to Surrey County Council with respect to their not following up 3 complaints about a boarding school I was placed into in the early 80’s. I also had something to say about the way George Abbot School mismanaged issues with my eldest son after he started the school in 2007/8 and they clearly and falsely accused me of abusing him. Eventually after a lot of jumping up and down I received an apology from George Abbot School (Although not in writing) and to use the words of their head “There is no excuse…” I recorded the meeting and it can be found on my website lifeafterchildabuse.com.
    Now just to make it clear I am making no threat, neither am I asking for a pay out but what I am asking for is an unreserved written apology from the Chief executive of Surrey County Council for their failing to provide their services with reasonable care and skill following my mothers 3 written complaints about Berrow Wood School in 1985/6. Complaints they conveniently lost. No doubt the council by not filing these complaints as you might expect now has a skewed report on the efficiency and quality of services it palms off to others. These complaints can be found in the book offered for download on my website lifeafterchildabuse.com Now with the greatest respect to your Mr Gordon Walker who expressed regrets about the abuse I experienced in this school, that is not an apology from the council for their failing to provide their services with reasonable care and skill is it!
    Following the conviction of the paedophile who interfered with me when I was in Berrow Wood I am now in what you might call a better place to voice my complaint against Surrey County Council. According to posts found on the ‘needle blog’ I am not the only adult with this complaint. You can find relevant copy’s of the same on my website.
    Now unless you care to correct me it is not yet illegal in this country for its citizens to make a peaceful demonstration and with this in mind I intend should I not get my unreserved written apology from Surrey County Council to make the same with my website lifeafterchildabuse.com, any newspaper who has the bottle to accept my adverts and my trailer (picture enclosed) Now I don’t profess to know the legalities of what I intend to do but the police, George Abbot School, the CPS and various others have seen my website and have some idea of what I intend to do. What I am asking you is do you object to my demonstration either on a legal, ethical or a discriminatory level.
    I have already placed an advert for my site in the Sun newspaper and if I do not hear from you or the police to the contrary within the next 14 days I shall take my demonstration to the next level by parking my trailer in Woodrough Avenue near George Abbot School early one morning. No doubt some of the students will see it and discus the same with their parents as well as potentially posting pictures of the same via various sites on the internet.
    I would also like to ask you if you have any objections to my running a story on my website about that caretaker Auger? Who worked for George Abbot School and was convicted of sexually abusing young girls. Not to mention the teacher who worked for George Abbot School. Arron Dale who was reportedly searching for pornographic material involving children as well as meeting children out of school hours. Just do a google search for ‘George abbot school abuse’ and you will, once you get past the student who stabbed another student with a pair of scissors find the reports to which I reefer. I think my website lifeafterchildabuse.com can also be found using this search on about the 4th page.

    Just to make it clear I am making no threat to you or George Abbot School what I am protesting about is what I see as the injustice of your inability and refusal to make a simple apology to me and my mother for your clearly failing in your duty of care to me when I was a child in 1985!
    Assuring you of my best attention at all times

    Darren
    copy: Head George Abbot School, Chief Commissioner Guildford Police. My local Vicar
    Attached: jpeg picture of my trailer

    • Darren

      It seems like somebody has been complaining about my peaceful demonstration as even Google shut my adverts down. Well such is life.

      Good news! I’ve now published my book on Amazon and I’ve ordered a much better banner about 6 foot high to go on the roof rack of my car.
      Just search for ‘child abuse’ on amazon and you will find my book on the first page.
      No doubt this should get some attention as I drive around Guildford and London parking it in various places (whilst keeping within the law.)

    • Chris

      That’s awesome Darren, good for you brother. I wish that ALL the other abusers at that school were also held accountable, Johnson, Tennent, Rodway, Morris, Holland, Wise, Carvel, Symonds, Varley, Krotoff, Dixon and so on. I have tried to get all of the guys on this thread to come together and file a class action suit over what went on. It left me damaged for life, how is that OK? And so many other men, who were just kids. It’s a disgrace. Chris Richardson #22

  46. Chris

    PS. Hastings sexually abused me when I had to move dorms, from dorms 13, to his, which was on the very top floor, can’t remember the dorm number? But there was also a kid called Paul Aniscow (Spelling maybe wrong?) Who also used to abuse me and Hastings encouraged it. He used to lock me in the washroom and abuse me.

    • Russell Southgate

      Hi Everyone.
      Just reading all these remarks is so sad.
      It brings back so many bad memories.
      I have never truly recovered and am in tears at the moment.
      I feel so anxious whilst reading this.
      If anyone would like to contact me my email address is. russellwoc@hotmail.com

  47. Russell Southgate

    Hi Christopher.
    I remember you so well, we were close mates.
    I remember your girlfriend Glenda.
    I remember you singing a “Police” song to her.

  48. Lisa Rasmussen

    Hello, reading your comments I am concerned about my brother who attended this school in the late 80’s – 90’s and has mentioned physical abuse. Mentioned a mr gray and larner?

    • Abuse or the memories of affect different people in different ways and the emotions that is the feast and despair that are sometimes associated with them can crop up out of nowhere. Some people who are a lot luckier than me can live with them. There is no shame it having to see a shrink. It was the best thing I did and it turned my thinking totally around from victim to survivor let’s legally go and get the basttard. Then I found out how many others there were. Read my book ‘life after child abuse’ available on Amazon.co.uk as it was written for people who are suffering in an attempt to help them understand they are not alone and to encourage them to seek help via councselling via somebody who known better than me what they are doing. I was there 82 to85 so I expect I missed your brother but I hope that helps 😀

    • Geoffrey Fox

      Paul , I remember him , he had beautiful white hair , I always knew grey and larner hurt so many pupils ,
      Paul was always nice.

      • Lisa Rasmussen

        Hi Geoffrey, Yes Paul is my brother. Unfortunately he has a severe form of autism/aspergers. He told me and a social worker than Mr Grey and Mr Larner were abusive to him. Also he has a fear of a bathroom and the water level in a bath or sink from being locked in a bathroom there. Not sure if you can help on that? I think it’s absolutely disgraceful what most of you endured in that school and only recently I’ve read up on this

      • Lisa rasmussen

        Hi Geoffrey Fox,

        My brother Paul Rasmussen passed away a few weeks ago sadly. 46 years old, He led a very troubled life due to his disabilities and who knows what happened to him in Berrow wood but I do know he spoke to me about me about it back last year where he said that 2 teachers were abusive towards him – gray and larner and was actually in tears. I wish I had known sooner until I googled the school months ago I knew nothing. My brother can now rest in peace. I feel for all of you who endured such nasty and in appropriate behaviour in your younger years which should never have happened especially Darren Warnett. Bless you all

      • Zeo Fox , formally Geoffrey

        I feel sad that Paul passed away , he was a kind person.
        I’m not sure what beecame of those horrible people larner , gray and Morris

  49. Alec cox

    Hi i am Alec Cox 2nd message at the school from 82 to 84 I got on well with Barry Hastings I did not know he was a pedo. I was on his landing I spent a lot off time on my own with him out in the mini bus and in the dormetry he would be the house father who would take me to tewkesbury to the doctors or the dentist we met up after I left the school I met him In Camberley at a little chief resterant He had a H G V Licence and we used it to hitch lifts right through london all trough the night to Ramsgate .We spent about a week together In a bed and breakfast I must have been about 16 at the time we spent the week together but all the time I have known Barry Hastings he never ever touched me .Darren I am sorrey he did whot he did to you And thank you for telling me I am going to find out whot prison he is in and go and see him you and I got on when we were there so may be we could meet up my phone number is 07709995373 give me a call any time. my number was 34.

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