Stowmarket Oakwood School pupils serve sexual abuse claim

A group of 70 former pupils who allege they were abused at a Suffolk boarding school have formally served court proceedings on the education authority.

They are suing Suffolk County Council over their alleged mistreatment while they were at Oakwood School, Stowmarket.

The council-run school for boys with emotional and behavioural difficulties was open from 1974 until 2000.

Suffolk County Council has a month to respond.

The civil compensation case has been registered at Cambridge County Court by solicitor Andrew Grove, who is representing the former pupils.

He estimated the claims for physical, emotional and sexual abuse would run to £5m.

Police investigation

Mr Grove said: "The county council must confront these serious allegations of an institutionalised violent regime at Oakwood where harm became the norm.

"With service of proceedings Suffolk County Council will be held accountable for the actions of their employees and they have 28 days to file a defence or admit liability."

Suffolk police also has an ongoing investigation into Oakwood and said it had received 63 complaints, but no criminal charges have been brought yet.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: "It would be inappropriate for us to comment during a police investigation.

"We would, however, urge people who feel they have any relevant information to contact police to help with their inquiries."

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