Underley Hall, Kirkby Lonsdale

Underley Hall, Kirkby Lonsdale

Operation Tweed.

Review into Underley Hall abuse investigation

A review has been announced into how Cumbria Police investigated allegations of historic sexual and physical abuse at a former school in the county.

The alleged victims of historical abuse at a Cumbrian school have spoken of their relief that the police investigation into their claims is to be re-examined.

The Cumbria force says it will carry out an internal review of its own investigation into claims reported in 1996 and 1997 – they relate to Underley Hall boarding school in Kirby Lonsdale. Former pupils say they were subjected to sexual and physical assaults there in the 70s and 80s. Ashley Derricott reports.

A Cumbrian MP has welcomed a decision to review how police investigated allegations of historic sexual abuse at a former school.

Police looked into the allegations at Underley Hall in Kirkby Lonsdale in the 1990’s. South Lakes MP Tim Farron has been calling for a review of that investigation, which Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner has now ordered.

The former school was closed in 2012
The former school was closed in 2012 Credit: ITV Border

Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes has instigated an internal review into how Cumbria Police investigated allegations of historic sexual and physical abuse at Underley Hall, a former school in the county.

“Last week I met with Joseph Ryan and Martin Dye on behalf of previous boys at Underley Hall School, Kirkby Lonsdale, who raised questions about the police investigation in 1996/1997 into sexual and physical abuse at Underley Hall, Kirkby Lonsdale.

“I have referred the questions raised during the meeting to the Chief Constable of Cumbria Constabulary. The Chief Constable and I are in agreement that an internal review will take place immediately focusing on the standard of the 1996/1997 investigation and if there were any misconduct issues.

“A Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) from Cumbria Constabulary will lead the review. The DCI has played no part in the historic or current investigation (Operation Tweed).

“As Police and Crime Commissioner I will be consulted on the Term of Reference for the investigation to ensure the issues raised at the meeting on the 25th September are appropriately included.

“It is expected that the Internal Review will take at least a month to complete.

“Both the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Cumbria Constabulary have spoken to the IPCC to keep them informed of developments. The IPCC have explained the referral process and given advice on handling.

“I would urge any victims or witnesses to come forward and help the Police with their current investigation.”

Child abuse probe investigates former Underley Hall School

Police investigating allegations of historical child abuse are probing activities at a former school in Cumbria.

Underley Hall School, a residential boarding school in Kirkby Lonsdale, closed in 2012.

Cumbria Police confirmed it is looking at the establishment as part of an investigation into abuse claims in residential schools across the county.

The allegations date from the 1970s to the 1990s.

A spokeswoman said detectives were “investigating these reports thoroughly” as part of Operation Tweed.

‘Get to the truth’Cumbria County Council said it was one of a number of local authorities from across the country which used the school and said it was “working with police to review any files relating to Underley Hall”.

A spokesman said: “Underley Hall was a private school.

“It closed in 2012 following an Ofsted inspection which judged it to be inadequate.

“All children placed at the school by the county council were removed following the inadequate judgement.”

Lib Dem MP Tim Farron, whose Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency the school was in, has contacted the Home Office to call for an inquiry after being approached by a former pupil.

He said: “We must get to the truth about what happened at Underley Hall to make sure that victims receive justice, any perpetrators are held to account for their crimes and that children are protected in the future.”

MP Graham Stringer, who represents Blackley and Broughton in Greater Manchester, has also written to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, after he too was contacted by a former Underley Hall pupil who lives in his constituency.

BBC News 01/08/14

In Cumbria, John Wadlow, a teacher at a residential school for children with behavioual problems, Underley Hall, was charged with a dozen sex offences but committed suicide in 1997 after absconding from a bail hostel.  His initial accuser, a former boy at the school, also committed suicide.

Forgotten Children, Christian Wolmar, 2000, p.37

410 responses to “Underley Hall, Kirkby Lonsdale

  1. i use to hate side table and PE kit in that place

  2. Alright john, have u heard from Tony yet ?

  3. tony

    Pair of geordie wankers

  4. fish

    I had a fukin good time at und monkey boots n all summer camp hell vellin pot holin ! No win no fee !!!

  5. hi I was here in the 90s I was john Bennett then had a younger brother called sean anyone remember me?

  6. jon

    hi mark hope you had a good chrismas pal, yer ill keep intouch im a loner any way just dont like to be round humans,

  7. Aareet John, did u get my reply, what u been up-to out gud ?

  8. I was in that school from the late 70’s till 84_85, and can say looking back there was some physical violence, three of the accused, assaulted me on more than one occasion, but two of them I was highly surprised to see their names.

  9. ju

    my niece is at the other underlay garden and the weird secretive behaviour somthing is not right the bruises my neice gets cuts etc when asked how is it done you can see her looking up for what to say the adult carers whispering then her ipad gets took off her, other day she had bruising on her face and i told her dont look at adults tell me what happend il make sure your safe and will ring police if somone is hurting you, she quickly told me the carers done it last night in a fight , when they had rang my dad that morning saying she had done it in shower by slipping , when i rang head office he told me a different story in a calm voice saying they had to restrain her last night coz she wanted to play out when i reminded him my dads had a phone call that morning about her slipping in shower he said owe well i was assuming that what happend.i said i want facts not assumptions and to be able to talk to her with no one telling her what to say i want her to have feedom to speak to anyone if somone is hurting her but she has only been there a month n a few weeks and already she been battered kicked hair pulled so they say by other students !!! but im starting to see a pattern that if she tells us somthing or nealy does she is cut off has things taken away from her , why is calls to me supervised by two adults ???? she is isolated already has comunication problems learning difficulties they get thousands n thousands per year for having her there and not doing a good job she can not contact anyone if she is getting hurt

  10. T t

    Hi my brother went their in the late 1970s. Also was at Thorne Garth for a number of years in the early 1980s. Has had problems all his life. Did metion abuse back then but nobody would believe him. People just put it down to behavioural problems with. No longer in touch with him. Wish he could get the help he needs. he will be fifty this year

  11. Hi Guys good to hear that mayor and cooper are to stand trial for their abuse of kids. I was a naughty boy but their punishment was brutal beyond comprehension. They are surely evil to be able to deal out punishment like they did to young kids. Lets hope they get some jail time before they die.

  12. sean mccabe

    I went to the school between 2010 2012

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