23 ex-pupils make allegations of sexual and physical abuse to Kesgrave Hall school inquiry detectives

Kesgrave Hall School in 1988

Kesgrave Hall School in 1988 - Credit: Archant

More than 20 ex-pupils of a former Suffolk school have made allegations of physical and sexual abuse, Suffolk Constabulary has said.

Detectives working on a two-year inquiry involving Kesgrave Hall have revealed they have been investigating complaints from 23 people involving allegations against 17 teachers and care workers.

However, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary, said eight of those accused have died.

At least three of those have died in the past twelve months, two after they had been arrested and the third when police went to his home in Bicester, Oxfordshire, on a separate matter.

Former care worker Kenneth Wheatley was found dead in April last year on a railway line near in Barnsley.

He had been arrested a few days earlier on suspicion of sexual offences against children at Kesgrave Hall.

Ex-teacher Alan Stancliffe, of Pontefract, died at a hospice in August after being bailed on suspicion of sexual offences.

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Another former teacher, Michael Lafford, 67, who was interviewed by detectives, died in November after Thames Valley Police went to his home in Bicester on a separate inquiry.

Detectives began their re-investigation into claims of abuse at Kesgrave Hall in January 2013. The first inquiry was in 1992. Kesgrave Hall school close in 1993.

On Tuesday last week ex-care work John McKno, of Alby Hill, Alby, in North Norfolk, was charged in relation to eight allegations at Kesgrave Hall, between March 1, 1986 and March 30, 1987.

Two charges allege gross indecency with a boy under 14, two counts involve indecent assault on a boy under 14, while one accusation is of buggery with a boy. These all relate to one child.

He also faces three charges of indecent assault on another boy under 14

Eight other allegations of buggery and indecent assault are said to have occurred at Beam College, Great Torrington, Devon, between January 1, 1978 and December 30, 1979.

These include four counts of buggery and four of indecent assault on a boy under 14.

The 69-year-old is due to make his first appearance before at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich on April 14.

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