Top Hale Barns school St Ambrose RC College embroiled in historic sex abuse probe

Messenger Newspapers: Top Hale Barns school St Ambrose RC College embroiled in historic sex abuse probe Top Hale Barns school St Ambrose RC College embroiled in historic sex abuse probe

TOP Catholic school St Ambrose RC College in Hale Barns, is subject of a police investigation into historic sexual abuse, resulting in the arrest of a Trafford man.

Greater Manchester Police has confirmed that five former pupils have alleged they were abused by teachers between the early 1960s and early 1980s and more than one former staff member is being investigated, although it cannot currently confirm how many.

A 63-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault and possession of indecent images on November 9 and has been bailed pending further enquiries until March 12, 2013.

The man was a teacher at St Ambrose and is now a member of the clergy, but is on admininstrative leave.

He was arrested in connection with an incident which allegedly took place in the early 1980s when the victim was 17-years-old and a pupil at the school.

However police have since received further reports of alleged incidents of historical sexual abuse involving four other former pupils, spanning a 30 year period.

Some of the incidents took place on school premises, some did not, but all allegedly involve members of staff at that time.

St Ambrose is a prestigious all-boys Catholic school, which was fee paying until 1998 and recently underwent a £24 million rebuild, which was officially opened in October.

No current members of staff are implicated in the investigation.

Det Insp Jed Pidd, from Trafford's Public Protection Investigation Unit (PPIU), said: "First and foremost I want to stress that we are looking at historical incidents.

"The safeguarding of pupils is without doubt a top priority for the school and I don't want current pupils or their families to be unduly concerned.

"That said, this is an extremely serious and upsetting incident for the victims in this case.

"As part of this investigation we have received further reports of potential historical incidents.

"Unfortunately some of these have come to us third hand and we really need to speak to anyone who was a pupil at the school who may have information to assist our enquiry.

"I want to reassure anyone who might want to report any incidents or offences that we treat all allegations of sexual abuse extremely seriously and we would encourage you to contact your local officers in Trafford."

A statement issued by the Diocese of Shrewsbury stated it “can confirm that a complaint has been received concerning a member of the clergy.

“It is cooperating fully with the statutory agencies involved and the appropriate safeguarding procedures are being followed.

“The diocese is unable to comment further at this time for legal reasons.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 7555, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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