Housefather Of Former Norfolk Boarding School Jailed For Sex Offences

19 June 2014, 17:14 | Updated: 19 June 2014, 17:40

A former housefather at a Norfolk boarding school has been jailed for six years for sex offences dating back to the 1970s.

76-year-old Ken Wells from Bracken Dale, Leicester was convicted of three counts of indecent assault following an eight day trial at Norwich Crown Court.

The offences took place at the former Sheringham Court School in the 1970s and involved a boy under the age of 16.

Wells was found not guilty of four other offences - three of which didn't take place at the school.

The conviction comes just three months after a former headmaster of the same school was given a discretionary life sentence after pleading guilty to 14 sex offences.

Bryan Greenhalgh, 63, previously of Suffield near North Walsham, admitted the charges on Thursday 6 March - they related to eight male victims under the age of 16.

The school closed in around 1980 when it was relocated to Lincolnshire and became Thurlby Manor operating until 1983. The vast major of pupils at Sheringham Court were from out of the county.

The Constabulary’s Child Abuse Investigation Unit launched 'Operation Alamo' in November 2012 after being contacted by a former pupil alleging abuse at Sheringham Court by Greenhalgh and Wells.

Seven more victims came forward to police during the investigation, confirming that they were assaulted by Greenhalgh. 

Detective Inspector Andy Coller, who led the investigation, said: "It has taken an enormous amount of courage for each victim to talk about the abuse, abuse they have had to live with for decades.

"It is pleasing that the passing of some 40 years has not hindered the legal process and that Greenhalgh and Wells have both been jailed for these crimes.

"Time may make our investigations more complicated, but it will not stop them. We will robustly investigate any offences brought to our attention, however old they may be. It is to their credit that those boys, now men, have found the strength to speak up after so many years.

"I hope the verdict and sentences passed against Wells and Greenhalgh provides some level of closure and allows them to continue to recover from these traumatic experiences.

"Norfolk Constabulary will continue to work with our partners to ensure that children are kept safe in all environments. If people in positions of trust do abuse this trust, they can expect to be prosecuted.”