Wigan borough man found guilty of 30 historic sex offences against children at school where he worked

A Wigan borough man has been convicted of dozens of historic sexual offences against children committed at a school where he worked in the 1960s and 70s.
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Maurice Lambell, 68, of Platt Fold Street in Leigh, was found guilty by a jury at Worcester Crown Court on Monday.

Lambell had been charged with 41 counts of sexual offences, including indecent assault and buggery. He was found guilty of 30 offences – those where the victims were under the age of 16.

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Police are encouraging other victims of non-recent sexual abuse to report itPolice are encouraging other victims of non-recent sexual abuse to report it
Police are encouraging other victims of non-recent sexual abuse to report it
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His co-accused Keith Figes, 73, of Breach Close in Bourton, Dorset, previously pleaded guilty to 11 counts of specimen offences. He had been charged with 51 counts of sexual offences, including indecent assault and buggery.

Both men have been placed on the sex offenders’ register and will be sentenced at a later date.

The abuse took place at Berrow Wood School in Pendock, on the Worcestershire/Gloucestershire border, between 1966 and 1974 when both men worked there.

The school catered for boys who were considered to have behavioural or learning difficulties or had been excluded from mainstream education owing to disruptive behaviour.

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Senior investigating officer, Det Insp Mark Walters, from West Mercia Police, said: “I would like to thank the victims in this case for coming forward and reporting the horrific abuse they suffered.

“Investigations of this nature are complex, however I hope today’s verdict highlights the extent we will go to and ensure justice is done, no matter how long the passage of time since the offences took place.

“It is clear that both men who have been convicted deliberately sought out young and vulnerable children who were living away from their families and abused them, when in fact they should have been protecting them.

“Today’s verdict will not take away the pain and suffering victims have suffered, but hopefully provides some solace that they have been listened to and heard.

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“I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of non-recent sex abuse to come forward and report this to us. We have specially trained officers who will work with you and ensure you have the necessary support.”