Six arrested in children's home sex abuse case
DETECTIVES have arrested six men after identifying more than 50 new victims of alleged child sex abuse at a notorious East Yorkshire care home.
St William's a care home for troubled boys that closed in the 1990s amid spiralling debts and child sex scandals, is at the centre of a third investigation by Humberside Police.
Officers leading the inquiry – codenamed Operation Reno – have arrested and questioned six men accused of serious sexual assault across three decades. The Mail understands two more are due to be arrested in the next few weeks.
Assistant Chief Constable Alan Leaver said: "The team investigating the latest allegations have interviewed more than 50 victims of alleged serious sexual abuse who have never previously been interviewed by officers from Humberside Police.
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"The suspects are all either staff members from the home, or people who have been there at various times in a professional capacity. They have all in some way been employed to work at the home."
The suspects are all aged in their 60s and 70s.
The team of 10 detective constables, being led by an inspector and a chief superintendent, have passed several files to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for a decision whether charges should be brought.
Mr Leaver added: "The suspects, due to the timescales we are dealing with in relation to when the alleged abuse took place, are all maturing in years. Several are well into their 60s and 70s.
"There are eight people regarded as suspects. Some files have been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service."
The latest inquiry follows two previously conducted by the force into the Market Weighton care home, which took in boys with emotional and behavioural problems from across the region.
The first saw former principal James Carragher jailed for seven years in 1993. That same year Father Anthony McCallen, who often gave mass at the home, was jailed for abusing boys in his parish in Hull.
Carragher was a member of the De La Salle Order of Christian Brother's, a teaching ministry employed by the Diocese of Middlesbrough to run the school.
In 2001 police were made aware of nine new complainants of abuse at the care home.
Police launched Operation Aldgate to investigate the allegations. Throughout the course of the investigation, 97 individual complaints of abuse were made against Carragher and others who worked at the home.
Twenty-six suspects and 290 alleged victims and witnesses were interviewed. Carragher and four other men were eventually charged with child sex abuse offences. Another man was charged with violent abuse, but eventually only Carragher was found guilty.
The remaining five men cleared of any wrongdoing, along with others not charged but investigated, complained to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and a five-year, £1million probe into Aldgate was launched.
Humberside Police were criticised by the IPCC as part of what became known as Operation Gullane.
In total, the 3,000-plus page document made 400 individual criticisms, including "major" and "institutional" failings including under funding, a lack of supervision, an inconsistent approach to arresting suspects and a failure to pursue reasonable lines of inquiry.
This was despite a judge previously commending the investigation team.
It is understood several of the latest victims were identified during the course of this investigation.
Mr Leaver said: "There is a hell of a lot work still to do. Despite the operation being started last summer, we probably have another four or so months work.
"It will maybe be Christmas before all the work is complete, but I wouldn't want to predict as always with things of this nature, they can be extended."
A civil case on behalf of 150 alleged sex abuse victims at the home is still being disputed by the Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough.
A High Court ruling deemed the Diocese was responsible for the home, yet lawyers acting on behalf of insurers are attempting to convince the Supreme Court the De La Salle Order should be held jointly liable.
Father Derek Turnham, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough, told the Mail due to ongoing legal proceedings, it was not in a position to comment.
He said: "The Diocese of Middlesbrough is aware of Operation Reno being conducted by Humberside Police, but because it is a live police matter we do not know the details.
"Considering that, we cannot comment further for risk of prejudicing the judicial process which is taking place, other than to make clear that we closed St William's in the early 1990s."
The Mail attempted to reach a representative from the De La Salle Order but was unable to do so.