Essex

Arrests over Essex boarding school abuse claims

statement of one of the victims
Image caption The alleged abuse at the two independent schools, which have since closed, is said to have have taken place between 1974 and 1998

Two men have been arrested in connection with historical abuse allegations at a school in Essex.

The men, aged 65 and 79, were held amid reports of child abuse at Elmbridge Boarding School in Ongar in the 1980s and 1990s.

A civil compensation case is under way after 30 people came forward to say they were abused at the school in Ongar and Oxley Parker school in Colchester.

The arrested men have been bailed pending further inquiries.

Essex Police said officers would be speaking to the solicitors involved in the civil compensation case, to see if they have any information which could assist them.

The alleged abuse at the two independent schools, which have since closed, is said to have have taken place between 1974 and 1998.

Solicitor Katherine Yates, of Andrew Grove Solicitors, said the civil legal action would be taken against the organisations which ran or owned the schools.

Former teacher jailed

"The claim is for compensation," she said. "However, I do have some clients who are not interested in the money. They see it as "blood money" and they just want their abuse acknowledged - finally - so that they can move on in their lives."

Two statements from some of the 36 alleged victims have been shown to the BBC.

The first described being abused by two teachers at Oxley Parker and, on one occasion, raped.

"The pain was agonising," the alleged victim said. "There was no one I could tell. I had no family or friends nearby to turn to."

The second described a teacher who supplied boys with drink and let them watch pornography.

"I was in his bedroom one day because he said I should go and lie down," the alleged victim said. "He came and sat down on the end of the bed and started stroking my legs. I was terrified."

Essex Police said allegations into abuse at Oxley Parker school had previously been investigated and a former teacher was convicted of sexual abuse and jailed for 10 years in the mid 1990s

The force said there was currently no active police investigation into the school.

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