A second man has been sentenced for non-recent sexual offences against children, which were committed at a former boarding school in Worcestershire during the 1960s and 70s.

Maurice Lambell, 69, of Platt Fold Street in Wigan was sentenced to 25 years in prison at Worcester Crown Court on Friday (20 October) after he was previously found guilty of 30 offences.

He failed to appear for sentencing earlier this month and was arrested on warrant the following day.

His co-accused, Keith Figes, 73, of Breach Close in Bourton, Dorset, was sentenced to 27 years in prison earlier this month as part of the same case. 

The offences took place between 1966 and 1974 at Berrow Wood School in the village of Pendock, on the border of Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.  The school housed boys aged ten to 18, many of which were considered to have behavioural or learning difficulties. Lambell and Figes were both ‘housefathers’ at the school, entrusted with the care and welfare of the children.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Mark Walters, said: “This has been a complex and long case, extended further for the victims by Lambell failing to appear for his original sentencing date earlier this month.  I’m pleased justice has finally been done for the survivors of Lambell and Figes’ institutionalised abuse.”

Speaking earlier this month when Figes was sentenced, he said: “Both abused their positions of trust to commit abhorrent crimes against young and vulnerable boys who they were supposed to be caring for. 

“I’d like to commend the victims for the courage they’ve shown in coming forward and the way they have conducted themselves throughout the trial.  The abuse has had long-lasting effects on their mental and physical health and the trauma caused by Lambell and Figes is something which will live with them all forever.

“Unfortunately, the convictions came too late for two victims, who sadly died before they got to see justice done.  Our thoughts remain with their family and friends.

“I would urge anyone who has been a victim of non-recent child sexual abuse to come forward and talk to police.  You will be listened to and your experiences will be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.”

If a victim or survivor reported allegations of child sexual offences before 5 June 2013 and the police or the CPS decided that no further action should be taken at the time, they can request that the Child Sexual Abuse Review Panel reconsider the decision, if they are not satisfied that the original allegations were dealt with appropriately.

CSARP is a joint enterprise between the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).  Further information is available here- Child Sexual Abuse Review Panel | The Crown Prosecution Service (cps.gov.uk)

If you’ve been affected by child sexual abuse then local support is available from the Victim Advice Line. The Victim Advice Line is a free and confidential service offering advice, practical help and emotional support to people affected by crime, regardless how long ago it happened or whether it has been reported to the police.  Support is available by telephone on 0800 9523000, via email at info@victimadviceline.org.uk and through live chat on victimadviceline.org.uk.