Wednesday 1 January 2014

Kesgrave Hall Boarding School, Suffolk Police Inquiry

By Colin Adwent.
Detectives investigating allegations of historic child abuse at the former Kesgrave Hall boarding school have now spoken to 15 people during their renewed inquiry.
At the beginning of this year Suffolk Constabulary said it would review the original investigation files from 21 years ago.
The move came after Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter wrote to the then chief constable Simon Ash expressing concerns over a police claim that the files had not been retained.
Dr Poulter’s intervention followed an ex-pupil’s Freedom of Information request relating to the 1992 inquiry. The former student is one of a number of men who claimed abuse occurred at the school.
Although officers have now spoken to more than a dozen people, it is understood that not all of those interviewed have made allegations of abuse.
Anne-Marie Breach, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “Suffolk police continue to investigate complaints of historic child abuse at Kesgrave Hall boarding school.
“To date we have spoken to 15 people in relation to the allegations and continue to explore lines of enquiry that may lead to others.
“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.”
In 1992 the Crown Prosecution Service said there was not enough evidence to prosecute any of the alleged abusers following a complaint from a former member of the independent school’s care staff.

Four members of staff who had been suspended for seven weeks returned to their posts.
Kesgrave Hall closed a year later.
When the matter was being reviewed earlier this year the constabulary said it was working with Suffolk County Council to look at the material from 1992.
The former pupil who raised the matter said he felt compelled try to get a fresh inquiry following last year’s now notorious BBC2 Newsnight programme involving abuse at a North Wales children’s home, which falsely led to a prominent political figure being branded a paedophile.
The ex-student said “It (the abuse) all came to the forefront again. It made me incredibly angry. It wasn’t right.
“That abuse was prolific in residential institutions in the 1970s and 1980s. I witnessed it first-hand, and the story needs to be told.
“I wasn’t prepared to stand back and watch something being brushed under the carpet.”
Kesgrave Hall was described as being a school for children with emotional and learning difficulties.
Anyone who wishes to contact police relating to the inquiry should telephone 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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