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69-year-old charged with 16 allegations of historic child sex abuse at Kesgrave Hall school and Beam College in Devon

PUBLISHED: 11:05 25 March 2015 | UPDATED: 11:09 25 March 2015

Kesgrave Hall School in 1988

Kesgrave Hall School in 1988

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A 69-year-old former care worker has been charged with 16 historic sexual assaults against three children at schools in Kesgrave and Devon.

Detectives from Suffolk Police’s Operation Garford, which was set-up specifically to investigate allegations of abuse at the former Kesgrave Hall boarding school, arrested John McKno in May 2014.

Further allegations were then later received relating to another defunct educational establishment known as Beam College, in Great Torrington, Devon.

A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said McKno, of Alby Hill, Alby, in North Norfolk, was charged on Tuesday evening with in relation to eight allegations at Kesgrave Hall, between March 1, 1986 and March 30, 1987.

Two of the charges are of 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 under 16. These all relate to one child.

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

Eight other allegations 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 with a boy under 16 and four counts of indecent assault on a boy under 14.

McKno has been released on police bail to appear before Ipswich magistrates on April 14.

He was one of three men arrested last year in relation to the Kesgrave Hall inquiry.

The two others have subsequently died.

Former care worker Kenneth Wheatley, also known as Kenneth Scott, 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.

Another former teacher, who was interviewed but not arrested by Suffolk detectives as part of the Kesgrave Hall inquiry, died in November after Thames Valley Police went to his home in Bicester on a separate matter.

Michael Lafford, 67, died the same day in Oxford’s John Ratcliffe Hospital.

Suffolk detectives began their re-investigation into claims of abuse at Kesgrave Hall in January 2013.

The first inquiry was in 1992 when four care workers were suspended but subsequently re-instated. Kesgrave Hall school close in 1993.

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