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Kesgrave: Two arrested on suspicion of child sex offences at Kesgrave Hall school - one suspect also arrested as part of North Wales care homes abuse probe.

10:43 11 April 2014

Two arrested in child sex probe

Two arrested in child sex probe

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An ex-teacher and a care worker at the former Kesgrave Hall School have been arrested on suspicion of child sex offences.

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One of the men, a 62-year-old from Barnsley, has also been interviewed under caution by detectives in relation to Operation Pallial, the North Wales child care homes abuse inquiry currently being conducted by the National Crime Agency. It is the 20th arrest in Operation Pallial.

The Kesgrave Hall arrests come after a long-running investigation by Suffolk Constabulary into allegations by ex-pupils at the former boarding school which closed in 1993.

The 62-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of indecent assault, while a 65-year-old, who is from the Pontefract area, has been arrested on suspicion of buggery and indecent assault.

The younger man was detained on Wednesday, while the 65-year-old was arrested yesterday.

Both men are currently on police bail.

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

At the time Suffolk Constabulary claimed in a reply to a Freedom of Information request by an ex-student that it did not have the files from the original inquiry in 1992.

However, following an intervention by Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter the claim proved to be incorrect.

Mr Poulter wrote to the then Chief Constable Simon Ash who asked for the matter to be looked into.

Subsequently a new inquiry was ordered.

In 1992 the Crown Prosecution Service said there was not enough evidence to prosecute any of the alleged abusers following a complaint from a former member of the independent school’s care staff.

Four members of staff who had been suspended for seven weeks returned to their posts.

Kesgrave Hall, which was said to cater for children with emotional and learning difficulties, closed a year later.

The former pupil who contacted Suffolk police in 2012 said he felt compelled try to get a fresh inquiry following the publicity over calls for a re-investigation into abuse at childrens’ homes in North Wales.

Richard Jones, a spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “Two men have been arrested in relation to allegations of historic offences at Kesgrave Hall boarding school ranging from the 1970s to the 1990s.

On Wednesday a 62-year-old man from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault. He was taken to Barnsley police station and was subsequently released on police bail until August 13.

“This man was also interviewed by officers from Operation Pallial, an investigation into recent allegations of historical abuse in the care system in North Wales, which is being conducted by the National Crime Agency at the request of North Wales Police.

“The man was questioned in relation to two allegations of indecent assault, believed to have taken in place in North Wales in 1976 against a boy then aged 13 or 14.

“He was also bailed until August 13 in relation to these matters while further enquiries are conducted.

“Yesterday, a 65-year-old man from the Pontefract area was arrested on suspicion of buggery and indecent assault. “He was also taken to Barnsley police station and was subsequently released on police bail until August 13.

“Officers continue the investigation and to date have spoken to around 22 people who attended the school at the time.”

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