SIX men charged in relation to alleged historical assaults on boys at a South Lakeland school have each denied the accusations they face.

The men, whose ages range from 57 to 76, appeared at Carlisle Crown Court today (Monday).

They have been charged as part of a police investigation, dubbed Operation Tweed, into alleged historical assaults and cruelty at Underley Hall School, Kirkby Lonsdale.

During a 40-minute crown court hearing this morning, in front of Judge Peter Davies, the six men sat together in the dock.

They all entered not guilty pleas to the respective charges that have been brought against them.

Errol Dudley Mayer, 72, of New Road, Kirkby Lonsdale, denied 18 charges of assault, occasioning actual bodily harm, and also 11 counts of alleged cruelty to a person aged under 16 years.

Derrick Cooper, 76, of Hillberry Green, Douglas, Isle of Man, pleaded not guilty to six actual bodily harm assault charges, and also two child cruelty allegations.

Four other men each denied one allegation of assault, occasioning actual bodily harm.

They are James Farish, 57, of Oakwood, Kendal; David Hadwin, 70, of Raygarth Gardens, Kirkby Lonsdale; John Studley, 65, of Maryland Close, Silverdale, Lancashire; and Fred Trevor Taylor, 74, of Lower Park Royd Drive, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire.

The court heard the 38 separate charges cover a period from 1976 to 1993.

A total of 22 different male complainants are named on the charge sheet.

A trial, expected to last between eight and 10 weeks, is due to get under way at the crown court in early January 2018.

In the meantime, each of the six men were granted unconditional bail by Judge Davies.