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Suffolk: Police re-open school child abuse inquiry relating to Kesgrave Hall School

12:07 22 January 2013

Former Kesgrave Hall pupil Lee Woolcott-Ellis

Former Kesgrave Hall pupil Lee Woolcott-Ellis

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SUFFOLK detectives have re-opened an investigation into alleged child abuse dating back to the 1970s at a former independent school.

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Last month ex-pupils of Kesgrave Hall began pushing for a 1992 inquiry into abuse allegations to be reviewed.

Their demands were supported by Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dan Poulter.

Last night Richard Jones, a spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said: ““Following a recent review of a historic child abuse investigation at Kesgrave Hall boarding school, Suffolk Police have now begun an investigation into other complaints of abuse. To date we aware of one new complaint but are exploring lines of enquiry that may lead to others.

“We are conducting a full and thorough investigation, which may include contacting those spoken to during the original investigation.

“We would encourage anyone who has been a victim of abuse to contact the police. We’d like to take this opportunity to reassure any victim that their complaints will be taken seriously and fully investigated.”

Lee Woolcott-Ellis, a former pupil at Kesgrave Hall was one of the pupils at the school who were sexually abused by teacher Alan Stancliffe, who was convicted in 1999 and again in 2007 at Ipswich Crown Court.

Mr Woolcott-Ellis is now alleging that he was also the victim of physical abuse while at Kesgrave Hall. He said suicidal thoughts, rage, and difficulties maintaining relationships have been the enduring legacy of his schooldays, which ended in 1980.

The 48-year-old, who has waived his right to anonymity, added: ““I was a very angry man and I was on a road of self-destruction.

“The beatings, the mental abuse and the indecent assaults took their toll.

“Even as a young child I recall feeling a sense of guilt.

“You know what is happening is wrong, but then you also feel frightened and helpless at the same time.

“It was not possible to report the assaults, many tried and it achieved nothing, except further bruises.

“You may not remember things readily, but it affects your behaviour.

“The drive to self-destruct stayed with me for many years and I had considered ending my life on a number of occasions.

“It would be hard to explain how isolated you feel and how terribly sad you feel.”

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