Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Council Call-in Barrister in Knowl View Sex Case

Probe into Cyril Smith and others at former special school
Back cover of Northern Voices 14
ROCHDALE council has asked Andrew Warnock QC to 'independently review all council decision making' related to Knowl View boys home in Bamford, Rochdale, from the end of the 1980s up to the mid-1990s.  This decision is long overdue given that there have been about a dozen allegations by lads, former pupils of the school and some only eight at the time, of extreme and wicked sexual abuse.
Tomorrow's Rochdale Observer has interviewed Martin Digan a former head of care at the residential school for lads with behavioural difficulties; the school was closed in 1994 when Mr. Digan gave a dossier detailing the abuse to the authorities.  Now Mr. Digan has told the Observer:
'It's been a long time coming, but I absolutely welcome this...  A massive cover-up of sexual abuse took place at Knowl View and it's about time people were held accountable for what happened.  Let's hope this is a proper independent investigation that gets to the bottom of what went on.'
In the report on 'Cyril Smith's Spanking Memoirs' in the printed version of Northern Voices No.14 last year, we itemised and imagined what might have been a diary entry for 1994 by Cyril Smith himself:
'Martin Digan, head of care at Knowl View, became suspicious when he established that I had keys made, giving me 24-hour access to the school (as I had done previously at Cambridge House, and as Savile had done in a number of institutions).  Digan handed a dossier alleging sexual abuse of about a quarter of the school's residents to education and police officials.  No apparent action was taken, although Digan was made redundant the following year.'
Chris Marshall, an ex-pupil at Knowl View, has consistently claimed the disgraced former Rochdale MP, Cyril Smith, when chairman of the school, abused him at Knowl View.
Now the leader of Rochdale Council, Colin Lambert, has said;
'It is important for me as leader of the council to be able to reassure members of the public that we are treating this matter seriously and to ensure that no stone is left unturned.  Anyone with new information should contact Greater Manchester Police.'
The investigator, Mr. Warnock is from the London based One Chancery Lane Chambers, specialising in child abuse, public sector, and social service claims.

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