17 ex-Kesgrave Hall school staff members accused of physical or sexual abuse of children

17 school staff have abuse allegations made against them

17 school staff have abuse allegations made against them - Credit: Getty Images/Comstock Images

Seventeen ex-members of staff at the former Kesgrave Hall school have been accused of physically or sexually abusing pupils, it has emerged.

Police have also confirmed a third alleged abuser has now died after being questioned as part of the two-year investigation following a visit to his home by officers unconnected with the inquiry.

The 67-year-old former languages teacher, house parent and Ofsted inspector, was among the teachers and care workers accused of child abuse dating back to the 1970s.

He had not been arrested, but was quizzed under caution in April on allegations of physical abuse.

The man was found swallowing tablets when officers from Thames Valley Police went to his home in Oxfordshire on November 18.

He had refused to let police in, but they forced entry to the property and discovered him on the sofa.

The 67-year-old died in hospital later the same day.

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A spokeswoman for Ofsted confirmed the man was an additional inspector employed by Tribal, one of its inspection service providers.

His death came after two of the three men arrested earlier this year as part of the Kesgrave inquiry died after being bailed.

Former care worker and convicted paedophile Kenneth Wheatley, also known as Kenneth Scott, was found dead in April on a railway line near in Barnsley.

He had been arrested a few days earlier on suspicion of sexual offences against children.

Wheatley, 62, was also arrested at the same time by the National Crime Agency in connection with the north Wales child abuse inquiry which led to John Allen, 73, of Foxglove Avenue, Needham Market, being jailed for life earlier this month. He was convicted of 33 sex offences on 19 children.

Another Kesgrave Hall teacher Alan Stancliffe, of Pontefract, died at a hospice in August after being bailed on suspicion of sexual offences at Kesgrave Hall.

Stancliffe, 65, had previously been convicted in 1999 and 2007 of sex offences on children at the former boarding school, and in 1982 of similar offences elsewhere.

Suffolk detectives began their re-investigation into claims of abuse at Kesgrave Hall in January 2013.

The first inquiry was in 1992 when four care workers were suspended but subsequently re-instated. Kesgrave Hall school shut in 1993.

Suffolk police confirmed the death of the man in Oxfordshire and that he had been questioned as part of the current investigation.

Lisa Miller, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “Suffolk Police are currently investigating allegations against 17 individuals of historic sexual and physical abuse at Kesgrave Hall boarding school during the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

“As part of the investigation officers interviewed a man aged in his 60s under caution in April.

“The interview was conducted in connection with physical abuse at the school ranging back to the 1970s.”

A 69-year-old Norfolk man is currently on bail after being arrested on suspicion of indecent assault at Kesgrave Hall.