Case against children's home head dropped

July 31, 2004

The former headmaster of a Birmingham children’s home accused of ignoring complaints of boys being abused by staff will not have to face a trial, a judge ruled yesterday.Following several days of legal submissions Judge Alan Taylor said because of difficulties in prosecuting the case George Meanwell would not get a fair trial in relation to allegations made up to 30 years ago when he was headmaster at the Tennal Assessment Centre.As a result the prosecution will no longer proceed against the 80-year-old man, of Tennal Drive, Harborne, who had denied 13 allegations of misconduct in a public office relating to a number of boys between 1971 and 1982.Following the judges ruling Mr Meanwell’s solicitor criticised the police’s decision to bring the prosecution accusing them of “trawling” for witnesses.Chris Saltrese said: “All the complainants against Mr Meanwell were gathered by the police, by the police going to complainants and inviting them to complain, some of whom were in prison at the time.”All the evidence I have suggests that Mr Meanwell was an extremely professional and dedicated headmaster.”I feel very strongly that this prosecution, which has been extremely costly, should not have been brought.”

IC Birmingham

 

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