Kesgrave: Decision over school abuse probe expected this month

Simon Ash

Simon Ash - Credit: Archant

A DECISION over whether a fresh inquiry into alleged child abuse at a former Suffolk school will be opened is to be made this month.

Suffolk Constabulary is currently reviewing the original investigation’s files from 21 years ago into allegations relating to Kesgrave Hall.

The constabulary has also revealed it is conducting its own review into why it initially claimed records relating to the 1992 investigation had not been retained.

The denial was in reply to an ex-pupil’s official request under the Freedom of Information Act. The former student is one of a number of men who are claiming there was sexual and physical abuse at the school.

A spokesman for Suffolk police also confirmed the records had not been retained, when asked about the situation by the East Anglian Daily Times.

However, after Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dan Poulter expressed his concerns about the matter in a letter to Chief Constable Simon Ash, it emerged the files had been kept and were in deep storage.

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.

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Mr Ash has now replied to Mr Poulter telling him officers are assessing the need to either re-investigate the matter or open a fresh inquiry.

The chief constable said he expects the decision to be made later this month.

Police are currently working with Suffolk County Council as they review the material from 1992.

Mr Poulter said: ‘I welcome the Chief Constable’s swift action and am glad that the police are taking this issue seriously, as there are many unanswered questions and potential victims who deserve to see a proper investigation carried out into the allegations of abuse at Kesgrave Hall School.”

The constabulary has also said it is looking at why it initially denied the original inquiry records had been retained.

A spokesman for the force said: “Suffolk Police is currently carrying out an internal review of a freedom of information request in relation to an investigation in the 1990s into abuse at Kesgrave Hall boarding school.

“The review process will look at the request in order to ensure that all necessary and reasonable enquiries were made to locate and retrieve the information requested.”

Kesgrave Hall closed in 1993.

Did you work at Kesgrave Hall? Telephone the EADT newsdesk on 01473 324736.

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