The Guardian reported yesterday that the Greater Manchester Police are investigating new claims of abuse at Knowl View School in Rochdale.
Knowl View School was a residential school for boys aged 8-16 with learning difficulties. It was reported by the Manchester Evening News that the school was closed down in 1994 after a file of information was handed to the police detailing long term abuse of the pupils. The file revealed that allegedly a number of pupils were abused at the school and the file contained information suggesting that pupils were being transported into Manchester to meet men who would pay to have sex with them. Sir Cyril Smith was the chairman of governors at Knowl View School at the time.
Following this, a comprehensive investigation was carried out into the Child Abuse Claims at the school by the Greater Manchester Police (‘GMP’). The GMP made a statement in November last year. They announced that on three separate occasions, files were passed to first the DPP and then the CPS containing details of abuse committed by Sir Cyril Smith, but on each occasion no prosecution was pursued. The GMP reviewed those decisions and have stated that if the CPS was presented with the same information today there is a very realistic prospect that Sir Cyril Smith would have been charged with a number of indecent assaults and that the case would have been brought to trial. The GMP went on to publically recognise that children at Knowl View School were sexually and physically abused.
Following this statement by the GMP, a number of victims came forward last year to report physical and sexual abuse at Knowl View School. Yesterday, three further victims spoke out of the sexual and physical abuse they suffered whilst pupils at Knowl View School. It is reported that these allegations do not involve Sir Cyril Smith.
As is common in these cases, the victims felt unable to come forward and speak out for a number of decades. It was not until the GMP publically recognised the awful abuse in November last year, that the victims finally felt able to come forward. This recognition allowed victims the confidence that their allegations would be taken seriously and that they would be believed. We are pleased to see that the victims of abuse now feel able to speak out and are being listened to.
If anyone would like to discuss this article or has been the victim of abuse, either at Knowl View School or elsewhere and would like to speak to one of our Child Abuse Solicitors within our abuse team we are more than happy to speak to them free of charge. Please contact a member of our team on 020 7657 1658/1653/1502. Any communication will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.
Click here for more information on Child Abuse Claims.