Ex-headteacher accused of sexually abusing pupils dies, aged 84

A former headmaster accused of sexually abusing pupils has died. Colin Cope, 84, was under fresh investigation by the police for the alleged crimes.

Ex-headteacher accused of sexually abusing pupils dies, aged 84

Prosecutors were deliberating whether to bring charges against Cope, who was headmaster of Tettenhall College in Wolverhampton in the 1970s, after covert video footage showed him laughing, joking, driving his car, carrying a table and climbing steep stairs eight months after he was deemed too sick to stand trial.

He was previously charged with 11 offences on five boys. He denied any wrongdoing.

Former pupils Andrew Wood, originally from Wombourne, and Mark Shelton, of Shifnal, today spoke of their frustration that the criminal case will inevitably be discontinued following Cope's death. They have waived their right to anonymity to speak out about the case.

Mark Shelton, of Shifnal, and Andrew Wood, claim they were the victims of historical sex abuse at Tettenhall College

Mr Wood, 56, said: "Questions have to be asked of the handling of the case over the last nine years by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service."

Mr Shelton, 57, added: "This is a classic case of justice delayed being justice denied."

The two men were among five ex-Tettenhall College pupils who were paid a total of £129,000 in a civil claim by the boarding school in an out-of-court settlement in 2012. When the trial collapsed, Cope was said to be taking 12 medications for numerous illnesses and had heart disease, prostate cancer and diabetes.

It emerged West Midlands Police was reviewing the footage in November last year. That review was concluded in January with the case files passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The CPS said the review would continue until a death certificate was produced.

West Midlands Police was yet to respond to inquiries at the time of print but senior officers are understood to be aware of Cope's death.

Tettenhall College declined to comment.

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