Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Kesgrave/Stowmarket: Inquiries into historic child abuse allegations at three former schools

14:04 04 February 2013

Investigations into child abuse claims

Investigations into child abuse claims

Archant

THREE former Suffolk schools are now at the centre of criminal investigations into historic child abuse allegations.

shares

The accusations, which relate to alleged physical and sexual assaults, are said to have occurred between the late 1970s and run through to the 1990s.

A solicitor representing ex-pupils of one of the schools - Oakwood School in Stowmarket - has said the number of claimants has reached three figures.

Andrew Grove, who is based in Cambridge, said: “We now have 100 complainants on the civil claim relating to Oakwood School.”

Last week detectives said they were re-opening the 1992 inquiry into alleged abuse at Kesgrave Hall independent school.

The investigation, codenamed Operation Garford, comes after former students’ calls for it to be re-opened were backed by Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter.

Responding to the new inquiry, Dr Poulter said: “I am pleased that Suffolk Police are conducting a full and thorough investigation into the alleged child abuse at Kesgrave Hall school, following my intervention.

“A number of people have written to me raising concerns about abuse when they or their family members were pupils at the school, and I would again urge anyone who has been the victim of abuse to come forward and immediately contact Suffolk police.”

Four people were suspended in 1992 during the Kesgrave Hall inquiry. No charges were ever brought. The school closed in 1993.

However, a woodwork teacher Alan Stancliffe, was convicted and jailed in 1999 and again in 2007 for indecent assaults on three ex-pupils.

Two other police inquiries involving the former St George’s School in Great Finborough, near Stowmarket, and Oakwood School are also continuing.

Operation Racecourse (St George’s) has been running since the late 2000s. It has led to the independent school’s ex-headmaster Derek Slade being jailed for 21 years in 2010 for sexual and physical abuse against pupils between the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Alan Brigden (aka Morton), 67, who taught maths at St George’s, was jailed for five years last year for sexual abuse after being extradited back from Holland despite two suicide attempts.

A third man, music teacher Alan Williams, 59, who lived in Stowmarket, took his own life after being arrested on suspicion of abuse.

A 59-year-old man who taught at St George’s is currently on police bail after being arrested on suspicion of sexual abuse.

Operation Oxenton (Oakwood School) is a criminal inquiry involving 95 complainants from the civil case.

There have already been convictions linked to Oakwood School dating back to the late 1980s.

Teacher Keith Hatton was jailed for four years in 1987 for nine sex assaults, while a part-time assistant John Wills, 45, of Stowmarket – who was a teacher in other schools and a foster carer – was jailed for eight months in 1995 for sexually abusing a child.

A Stowmarket clergyman with connections to the school, took his own life in 2003 after being arrested on suspicion of sexual assault

Oakwood School shut in 2000.

shares

0 comments

Bradley Wiggins, far left, riding through Woodbridge during the first stage of the 2012 Tour of Britain

Tour of Britain spectators will get to see champion rider Sir Bradley Wiggins racing through Suffolk again when it comes to county this month.

Ipswich Town have brought in 12 new players this summer.

The summer transfer window has now closed, during which Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy brought in a total of 12 new signings on permanent or loan deals.

A man has died at The Port of Felixstowe.

Investigators say their inquiries into the death of a contract worker at the Port of Felixstowe could take some time to complete.

Police are investigating

Further instances of vehicle crime were felt in Kesgrave on Sunday night after a car window was smashed, prompting a social media appeal for those with information to come forward.

Art on the Prom at Felixstowe last year

More than 100 artists will be exhibiting this weekend as Felixstowe stages one of its most popular events of the year.

One of the new metal art trees in bury has been damaged. St Andrew's Street South.

A metal sculpture in a central Bury St Edmunds street now resembles a dandelion blowing in the wind following an accident involving a truck.

Police at the scene of the alleged attack.

The jury in the trial of two men accused of being involved in a plot to throw acid over a 22-year-old Suffolk beautician has retired to consider its verdicts.

A large farming trailer carrying potatoes has overturned on the B1102 between Freckenham and Worlington.

The B1102 in Freckenham is blocked after a trailer load of potatoes overturned.

The opening of the new petanque bowls piste at the Riverside Centre, Stratford St Andrew - Suffolk Coastal District Councillor Phillip Dunnett with parish clerk and member of the centre committee Debbi Tayler

More than 30 people turned out for the opening of a boules rink at The Riverside Centre on Saturday.

Mr Wilson

Fire crews put out a car fire in Clacton today after passers by rescued a dog from the vehicle.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages