max temp: 12°C

min temp: 11°C


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

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


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.



Matt Bunn joined the Ipswich Round Table's annual Rudolph Run.

The festive lights have been switched on in the middle of Ipswich and – before we know it – Rudolph and Father Christmas will be spreading their magic around town.

Fears were raised over the impact the strikes would have on A&E departments.

Strike action by thousands of junior doctors has been suspended so talks can continue, the Government and the British Medical Association (BMA) have announced.

The Christmas Tree on the Cornhill in 1985,  Grimwades was on the right of the picture

As the festive cheer spreads through Ipswich, reader Janice Poulson has been looking back at how the town used to be at Christmas, and other times of the year.

Michael Leaberry

Police are appealing for help to find a missing man believed to have links to Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk and north Wales.

Daniel Compton with daughter Evie

The parents of baby Evie Compton have spoken of their heartache after revealing it is unlikely she will be allowed to fly home to Ipswich for Christmas.

Don't feed the ducks this winter

People are being urged not to feed left over bread to the ducks in Ipswich’s Christchurch Park.

Ipswich Waterfront at Dusk

In a conversation published in the Guardian’s ‘Weekend’ magazine, musician Brian Eno and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis briefly discussed their experiences of the town, with their views not especially favourable.

Woman was caught drink-driving at police headquarters

A 23-year-old was caught drink-driving after parking her car at Martlesham police headquarters, a court heard.

Murrayfield Primary School.

Governors have criticised Suffolk County Council after they resigned from their school which was branded ‘inadequate’.

Mick Mills and Bobby Robson with the UEFA Cup in 1981. (Photo Dave Kindred/Archant)

A local football story jumped from the sports pages to take over the EADT’s main news spot on November 30, 1981.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24