No charges after allegations of sex abuse at Stambridge Earls school

Daily Echo: Stanbridge Earls Stanbridge Earls

THE CPS will not prosecute allegations of sexual abuse at a Hampshire school, it was revealed today.

CPS East of England has decided there is “insufficient evidence” to bring charges related to abuse of pupils at Stanbridge Earls School in Hampshire.

It upholds a previous decision by CPS Wessex not to prosecute allegations against fellow pupils at the school near Romsey, which closed down last year.

The review considered the original allegation made by the parents of the pupil and separate claims from four other pupils against 10 individual students, as well as allegations of perverting the course of justice against two teachers.

Chief Crown Prosecutor Grace Ononiwu said: “The material supplied was considerable and has now been reviewed in its entirety and decisions have been made as to whether any of the 12 individuals who were the subject of the investigation should be prosecuted.

“The conclusion I have reached is that there should be no prosecutions arising out of the evidence which has been provided to us. This decision is not based on whether we believe the allegations made by the pupils but on whether there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to prosecute.”

She added: “I appreciate this decision may come as a disappointment to those who made the complaints which is why I have offered to meet them to explain my decision to them face to face.”

The decision brings Hampshire Police’s Operation Flamborough to an end after 6,000 hours of police time in the investigations.

But Assistant Chief Constable Laura Nicholson said officers would listen to any “new substantive allegations”.

She said: "Hampshire Constabulary committed more than 6,000 hours of police time to investigating these allegations. This resulted in us submitting 50 files of evidence to the CPS, which has enabled them to now form an independent view on these matters.

“Operation Flamborough is therefore now complete. If anyone has new substantive allegations, we would encourage them to contact us and we will investigate them separately.”

The investigation lasted eight months and included inquiries across 10 counties.

More than 1,200 documents were received and 20,000 pages reviewed while 79 witness statements were taken and 172 officer reports submitted.

Comments (5)

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2:42pm Fri 2 May 14

igiveup says...

And a wonderful special school was closed down and children and teachers reputations trashed. This is one of the tragic consequences of false allegations and the current fashion to tell alleged victims 'you will be believed'. It was not helped by a concerted vitriolic campaign led by a representative of the family who publicly abused parents and children of the school. I hope Tom Watson MP and Stephen McCabe MP are now prepared to apologise unreservedly for their very public accusations of abuse and a cover up at Stanbridge Earls by parents, staff, police and Caroline Nokes MP.
And a wonderful special school was closed down and children and teachers reputations trashed. This is one of the tragic consequences of false allegations and the current fashion to tell alleged victims 'you will be believed'. It was not helped by a concerted vitriolic campaign led by a representative of the family who publicly abused parents and children of the school. I hope Tom Watson MP and Stephen McCabe MP are now prepared to apologise unreservedly for their very public accusations of abuse and a cover up at Stanbridge Earls by parents, staff, police and Caroline Nokes MP. igiveup
  • Score: 38

3:37pm Fri 2 May 14

dosomethingwithyourlife says...

The above comment is 100% accurate. Unfortunately the public will only remember the sensationalist headlines. Many excellent staff have been tarnished and had their lives seriously interupted and turned upside down for nothing. Totally wrong.
The above comment is 100% accurate. Unfortunately the public will only remember the sensationalist headlines. Many excellent staff have been tarnished and had their lives seriously interupted and turned upside down for nothing. Totally wrong. dosomethingwithyourlife
  • Score: 37

8:14pm Mon 5 May 14

hopeforthebest says...

Let's not forget a Tribunal judge found the school seriously at fault in many ways especially in terms of Safeguarding vulnerable children which then led to the school needing to desperately rush to reform itself but frankly failing to do so with too little too late. It lost its own credibility and parents fled the school leaving it insolvent because its balance sheet was fundamentally weak with insufficient reserves. That was the fault of the management and staff who had scant financial resources to weather suchj a storm and who badly handled a crisis and who had supported a Head teacher who was criticised by a Judge as being in contempt. There were no vexatious accusations, the school was at fault and it clearly failed itself in these ways. Now the school is dead and buried with a reputation that will remain forever in tatters by these faults. It failed itself. That is just lamentable for all of its pupils who all deserved better frankly. The site is now going to be a Chinese language school so we hear, when the school rebuilding is completed, if it ever will be, they don't seem even to be able to get that completed so far.
Let's not forget a Tribunal judge found the school seriously at fault in many ways especially in terms of Safeguarding vulnerable children which then led to the school needing to desperately rush to reform itself but frankly failing to do so with too little too late. It lost its own credibility and parents fled the school leaving it insolvent because its balance sheet was fundamentally weak with insufficient reserves. That was the fault of the management and staff who had scant financial resources to weather suchj a storm and who badly handled a crisis and who had supported a Head teacher who was criticised by a Judge as being in contempt. There were no vexatious accusations, the school was at fault and it clearly failed itself in these ways. Now the school is dead and buried with a reputation that will remain forever in tatters by these faults. It failed itself. That is just lamentable for all of its pupils who all deserved better frankly. The site is now going to be a Chinese language school so we hear, when the school rebuilding is completed, if it ever will be, they don't seem even to be able to get that completed so far. hopeforthebest
  • Score: -11

9:51pm Mon 5 May 14

Violet07 says...

Defending the indefensible Terry but of course you are rather close of the individuals referred to in the first post. Perhaps if the Tribunal judge had been made aware that the CPS had already looked at the allegations three times he might have reached a different conclusion.
Defending the indefensible Terry but of course you are rather close of the individuals referred to in the first post. Perhaps if the Tribunal judge had been made aware that the CPS had already looked at the allegations three times he might have reached a different conclusion. Violet07
  • Score: 6

8:11am Tue 6 May 14

Violet07 says...

Oops and now the Chief Constables been exonerated of any wrong doing. All beginning to unravel .
Oops and now the Chief Constables been exonerated of any wrong doing. All beginning to unravel . Violet07
  • Score: 8

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