Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 13°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Kesgrave: School abuse inquiry files can not be found as calls grow for second probe

11:44 19 December 2012

Dan Poulter MP calling for re-opening of Kesgrave Hall inquiry

Dan Poulter MP calling for re-opening of Kesgrave Hall inquiry

Archant

AS calls grow for a renewed investigation into alleged child abuse at a Suffolk school it has emerged files relating to the original inquiry no longer exist.

shares

Suffolk Constabulary and Suffolk County Council have admitted they are not able to trace details relating to a probe which began in July 1992 into numerous allegations by pupils of Kesgrave Hall.

The documents appear to have been destroyed according to replies to Freedom of Information requests from both organisations.

A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “Suffolk Constabulary no longer holds the files in relation to crimes occurring of this nature at Kesgrave Hall School due to the age of the offence and that review, retention and disposal guidelines at the time scheduled for its disposal.”

In reply to its FOI request the county council said: “This school was a private school that closed in 1993. We have no records.”

However, the council is now understood to be double-checking its files to ensure this is correct.

Meanwhile, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dan Poulter has joined calls from ex-students for a re-opening of the investigation which originally involved around 30 allegations from pupils dating back to the 1970s.

Up to 10 students are now reportedly alleging they were subject to, or witnessed, physical or sexual abuse at the school.

Mr Poulter has written to Suffolk’s chief constable to urge him to re-open the inquiry.

He said: “I was extremely concerned to hear about the allegations of widespread child abuse of former pupils at Kesgrave Hall School in the 1980s and 1990s.

“I would urge anyone who has been the victim of abuse to come forward and immediately contact Suffolk Police so that their complaints can be properly investigated.”

A Suffolk police spokesman said: “Suffolk police encourage anyone who has been a victim of abuse to contact police and would like to reassure them that their complaints will be taken very seriously and investigated thoroughly.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said the original inquiry was a matter for police to comment on.

Although the school was not run by the county council, social services teams were responsible for inspecting conditions there.

One of Kesgrave Hall’s former teachers Alan Stancliffe was convicted in 1999 for subjecting three young pupils to years of sexual abuse. The then 50-year-old was given a 12-months imprisonment at Ipswich Crown Court. However, Stancliffe, of Pontefract, was convicted again in 2007. This time he was jailed for two years for three indecent assaults on another Kesgrave Hall pupil.

One of the victims in Stancliffe’s 1999 case, Lee Woolcott-Ellis - who has waived his right to anonymity, said he is considering making further complaints against other people.

Mr Woolcott-Ellis, of Ramsgate, said: “ There’s every possibility that I will step forward with other people from Kesgrave Hall, and I’m hoping others will do the same because with corroborated evidence it will be easier to pursue the case. I want to encourage and support other people who have been victims to come forward and speak out.”

At the end of the 1992 investigation four members of staff at the boarding school for emotionally disturbed boys were suspended amid allegations of physical abuse.

They are said to have received psychiatric help before being reinstated. No charges were brought.

shares

0 comments

Seth and Eliza Gaw loved Latitude but planning was key, says dad Matt Gaw

With the mounting costs of family holidays, events like Latitude can be a genuine alternative to a traditional bucket and spade break.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Train delays through Suffolk and Essex have been caused by urgent repairs to a railway bridge between Witham and Hatfield Peveral.

Ipswich swimmer Karen Pickering at the towns Crown Pools with the medals she won at the Commonwealth Games in Canada

For years, Karen Pickering was known around Ipswich simply as ‘Swimmer’, and you can understand why, writes Sheen Grant after talking to the new mum of twin girls, Evie and Mia.

An accident has caused travel delays

Traffic delays in Birch, near Colchester, have been caused by a crash.

Abellio Greater Anglia

Train services have returned to normal between Ipswich and Felixstowe this evening following problems caused by a broken down train.

A broken down train has blocked the Marks Tey to Sudbury route

A broken down train has forced services between Sudbury and Marks Tey to be suspended – with delays expected for the rest of the day.

The incident happened on the A12

A lane on the A12 at the Foxhall roundabout near Martlesham was blocked following a three-vehicle crash.

The coffin of Stuart Cullen is carried from the RAF C-17 at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

The body of Suffolk man Stuart Cullen, one of 38 people killed in the Tunisian terror attack, has been returned to Britain today.

National Lottery winners pictured helping out on a build at Black Notley Community Association in Braintree, Essex. Pictured are the team working hard in the sunshine to complete the job.

Lottery winners with a combined worth of £25million mucked in to help create a holiday haven in Black Notley.

Hundreds of families gathered at Portman Road to watch the outdoor screening of Frozen.

Portman Road was transformed to a world of snowflakes and ice despite the 26C (78.8F) sunshine this morning.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages