Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

Kesgrave: School abuse inquiry files can not be found as calls grow for second probe

PUBLISHED: 11:44 19 December 2012

Dan Poulter MP calling for re-opening of Kesgrave Hall inquiry

Dan Poulter MP calling for re-opening of Kesgrave Hall inquiry

Archant

AS calls grow for a renewed investigation into alleged child abuse at a Suffolk school it has emerged files relating to the original inquiry no longer exist.

Suffolk Constabulary and Suffolk County Council have admitted they are not able to trace details relating to a probe which began in July 1992 into numerous allegations by pupils of Kesgrave Hall.

The documents appear to have been destroyed according to replies to Freedom of Information requests from both organisations.

A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “Suffolk Constabulary no longer holds the files in relation to crimes occurring of this nature at Kesgrave Hall School due to the age of the offence and that review, retention and disposal guidelines at the time scheduled for its disposal.”

In reply to its FOI request the county council said: “This school was a private school that closed in 1993. We have no records.”

However, the council is now understood to be double-checking its files to ensure this is correct.

Meanwhile, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dan Poulter has joined calls from ex-students for a re-opening of the investigation which originally involved around 30 allegations from pupils dating back to the 1970s.

Up to 10 students are now reportedly alleging they were subject to, or witnessed, physical or sexual abuse at the school.

Mr Poulter has written to Suffolk’s chief constable to urge him to re-open the inquiry.

He said: “I was extremely concerned to hear about the allegations of widespread child abuse of former pupils at Kesgrave Hall School in the 1980s and 1990s.

“I would urge anyone who has been the victim of abuse to come forward and immediately contact Suffolk Police so that their complaints can be properly investigated.”

A Suffolk police spokesman said: “Suffolk police encourage anyone who has been a victim of abuse to contact police and would like to reassure them that their complaints will be taken very seriously and investigated thoroughly.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said the original inquiry was a matter for police to comment on.

Although the school was not run by the county council, social services teams were responsible for inspecting conditions there.

One of Kesgrave Hall’s former teachers Alan Stancliffe was convicted in 1999 for subjecting three young pupils to years of sexual abuse. The then 50-year-old was given a 12-months imprisonment at Ipswich Crown Court. However, Stancliffe, of Pontefract, was convicted again in 2007. This time he was jailed for two years for three indecent assaults on another Kesgrave Hall pupil.

One of the victims in Stancliffe’s 1999 case, Lee Woolcott-Ellis - who has waived his right to anonymity, said he is considering making further complaints against other people.

Mr Woolcott-Ellis, of Ramsgate, said: “ There’s every possibility that I will step forward with other people from Kesgrave Hall, and I’m hoping others will do the same because with corroborated evidence it will be easier to pursue the case. I want to encourage and support other people who have been victims to come forward and speak out.”

At the end of the 1992 investigation four members of staff at the boarding school for emotionally disturbed boys were suspended amid allegations of physical abuse.

They are said to have received psychiatric help before being reinstated. No charges were brought.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

The Duke of Cambridge leaves his role as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance today. Here, he tells of his pride at doing the job, and pays tribute to his colleagues, and to the people of East Anglia.

Ipswich’s free shuttle bus between council offices in Russell Road and the town centre has been saved after the borough agreed to pick up the bill for it.

A 50-year-old man from Cambridgeshire who was arrested after a fatal crash on the A140 on Tuesday will appear in court tomorrow to face dangerous driving charges.

A jealous Suffolk man who fired a BB gun at a car after finding text messages from the vehicle’s owner on his partner’s phone has been jailed for ten months.

A former geography teacher from Essex says that schoolchildren should be taught more about what to do if a natural disaster occurs after getting caught up in the earthquake which hit Kos last week.

Proposals for an accommodation complex housing 2,400 power station construction workers in Suffolk have been criticised in an independent report – with energy bosses urged to rethink the plans.

An Ipswich computer repairer who downloaded child porn has walked free from court after a judge decided not to send him straight to prison.

Just weeks after the Ipswich Park and Ride service was relaunched with a new service run by First Eastern Counties, part of its site at Copdock Mill has been put up for sale.

A Suffolk footballer who lost both his legs in a horrific hit and run crash has fulfilled his ambition of walking down the aisle on his wedding day.

A woman in her 70s suffered injuries after an “unkempt” man is reported to have shouted and pushed her to the ground in a Suffolk high street.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24