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Kesgrave Hall: 62-year-old man arrested in boarding school abuse probe found dead on railway line

PUBLISHED: 14:34 09 May 2014 | UPDATED: 16:56 09 May 2014

Kesgrave Hall School in 1988

Kesgrave Hall School in 1988

Archant

A 62-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of abuse at a former boarding school near Ipswich was found dead on a railway line in Barnsley just days after he was questioned, it has emerged.

The man, named as Kenneth Wheatley, who is understood to be from Dodworth, near Barnsley, had also been interviewed in relation to Operation Pallial, the North Wales child care homes abuse inquiry, before his arrest in April over claims of abuse at Kesgrave Hall boarding school.

Wheatley, who was a care worker and went by the surname of Scott in Suffolk, was found dead on a railway line on April 12, after being released on bail, the Barnsley Coroner’s office confirmed yesterday, as the death was made public.

He was arrested last month along with a 65-year-old, who was a teacher, in relation to abuse claims at the school.

The spokesman added: “I can confirm that the coroner for this jurisdiction, on April 17, opened an inquest into the death of Kenneth Wheatley, 62, from the Barnsley area, who died on the railway line between Dodworth and Silkstone Common on April 12.

“The case has been adjourned, awaiting a file from the British Transport Police.”

News of his death came as a third man, from north Norfolk, was arrested in the Kesgrave Hall abuse investigation.

Claims against the 68-year-old, who was bailed until September 1, date between the 1970s and 1990s. Police last night confirmed the man was a member of staff at the school.

The arrests are a result of a long-running investigation by Suffolk Constabulary into allegations by ex-pupils at the former boarding school.

More than 20 people have been spoken to after allegations from former pupils of the private school re-surfaced in December 2012.

Kesgrave Hall was closed as a boarding school in 1993.

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Oliver Sheppard, 28, of Park Road in Clacton, was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on January 16 after pleading guilty there on January 8.

One man was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

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The winner of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star’s Christmas Claws competition has been announced. .

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