Five former pupils from Suffolk among nearly 120 in civil claim alleging abuse at shamed school

More than 110 abuse claims against former school

More than 110 abuse claims against former school - Credit: Archant

Five Suffolk claimants are among those who are part of a civil action alleging they were sexually, physically and emotionally abused at a school in Diss between 1975 and 2003.

Four of the former pupils of Banham Marshalls College currently live in west Suffolk, while the other lives in north Suffolk.

The independent day and boarding school, which began life as the Old Rectory School, closed more than a decade ago. It accommodated children from 24 local authorities with special educational needs.

Compensation proceedings were first launched in August 2008 following the conviction of George Robson and two other members of staff for child cruelty offences.

Cambridge firm Andrew Grove and Co Solicitors, which represents the claimants, has now been set a deadline for the closure of the class action. This means any further potential claimants must contact the company by May 1.


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Currently there are 117 people involved in the civil claim, including 14 from Norfolk.

The school was set up by George Robson. In 1992 the school expanded and became Banham Marshalls College which closed after a negative Ofsted Report in 2003.

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In 2007 after a 52-day trial George Robson was convicted of nine counts of child cruelty and his brother Anthony was convicted of three counts.

They received suspended sentences in Norwich Crown Court in November and December 2007. George Robson died from heart failure the day after his sentencing.

Care worker David Clark was found guilty of four counts of child cruelty and also received a suspended sentence.

Leslie Beckett, a former House Parent at the school, faced 12 allegations of indecent assault but died before he could stand trial.

Formal proceedings were issued in the Cambridge County Court in August 2008.

Andrew Grove and Co have said to date more than 70 claims have settled out of court, with compensation totalling approximately £1.5 million.

Late last month at Cambridge County Court Judge Michael Yelton ordered that the class action should close on May 1.

Solicitor Andrew Grove is urging former pupils who have not considered making a claim to get in contact

He said: “If you are a former resident who suffered abuse in any form you have a claim. Now is the time to come forward to join the group litigation which streamlines the path to compensation.

“After closure of the group on May 1 each claim is to be conducted individually which entails delay.”

If you wish to contact Andrew Grove and Company telephone 01223 367133.

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