24 August 2015
Alleged Child Abuse at Brookside School – November Trial for Jack Mount
A 96-year-old retired Head Teacher faces trial in November for non-recent child sex abuse.
Jack Mount, the former headmaster of the privately-run Brookside School near Craven Arms in Shropshire, is alleged to have abused children over a 25-year period.
Mount, who now lives in South Molton in Devon, appeared this week at an Exeter Crown Court hearing, where he spoke only to confirm his name.
He previously appeared at Birmingham Crown Court in January, where he pleaded not guilty to 50 charges including rape and indecent assault. The Court decided, because of Mount’s age and ill health, that the case should be tried closer to where he lives.
Alleged Child Abuse at Brookside School
Mount is alleged to have abused children between the ages of seven and 13.
The alleged offences are said to have taken place between 1953 and 1979 and took place in Shropshire, Yorkshire and Birmingham.
Prosecutors will now finalise the charges against Mount and court proceedings will begin in November at Barnstaple Crown Court. The case will be heard for legal argument on Monday 2nd November and trial is due to commence one week later, on Monday 9th November.
In this week’s Exeter Crown Court hearing, Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC said that the November trial would involve a number of alleged victims and would finish before Christmas, saying: "There are obvious reasons why a trial in this case should take place sooner rather than later."
Jack Mount is 96 years old and is one of the oldest defendants ever to face trial in the UK. He is in poor health, suffering from Parkinson's disease, and is registered as being visually impaired.
The courts have acknowledged Mount’s frailty by ensuring that he is tried as close to home as possible, but a more important consideration, perhaps, is the fact that he is at least going to face trial for these alleged offences.
Survivors of abuse take great courage in coming forward, with many suffering in silence for years thinking nobody will believe them. At least, with a November trial date set, they now have the right to be heard in court and for the facts of the case against Jack Mount to be established.
Slater and Gordon’s expert team of Abuse Lawyers are currently representing over 800 survivors of abuse, including people who have suffered abuse in schools and other institutions
We understand the difficulties in speaking out and have many years’ experience dealing with abuse cases. Please be assured that any communication you have with us will be conducted in the strictest of confidence.