Hampshire chief constable Andy Marsh accused over investigation into Stanbridge Earls School (09.04.14)

Southern Daily Echo, 9th April 2014

Chief constable Andy Marsh

Chief constable Andy Marsh

THE Daily Echo can today reveal the full explosive details of an investigation into Hampshire’s top police officer.

The chief constable of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary, Andy Marsh, is facing a police probe from a separate force into claims he ordered a whitewash over the failure of police investigations into shocking sex abuse allegations at a Hampshire special school.

He is also accused of breaching confidentiality and contempt of court in connection with the same inquiry.

The full extent of the inquiry into Mr Marsh can be revealed for the first time today after the details of Essex Police’s investigation – named Operation Oregon – were leaked to the Daily Echo.

Their investigation is being carried out on behalf of Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Simon Hayes – which is understood to be the first time a UK PCC has ordered a probe of its own chief constable.

The document shows how Mr Marsh is being probed over NINE complaints.

These include:

• A failure to undertake a thorough investigation into the sexual abuse of vulnerable pupils.

• As a result, a failure to protect a vulnerable child from harm.

• Giving “instructions” to officers that were designed to “mislead” parents of alleged victims.

• Leaking details of alleged victims.

Some of these relate to Operation Flamborough – an inquiry set up by Hampshire police after claims Stanbridge Earls failed to properly protect a vulnerable child who claimed to have been raped by fellow pupils.

Mr Marsh is being investigated over claims he told his boss, Mr Hayes pictured right, that the operation was “established to protect Hampshire Constabulary’s reputation”.

He is also facing claims that he leaked details of a criminal investigation and details of alleged rape victims to Caroline Nokes, the MP for Romsey and Southampton North, as well as to Hampshire County Council.

There is no suggestion that the authority or Mrs Nokes are under investigation.

The probe also focuses on whether officers from Hampshire police were instructed to “mislead” parents of alleged victims into thinking Operation Flamborough was an investigation into the sexual abuse of children.

When the Daily Echo revealed last year that Mr Marsh was under investigation, spokesmen from Hampshire Constabulary and Mr Hayes’s office said they were aware of a complaint that had been made and that it would be inappropriate to comment further.

As previously reported by the Daily Echo, a Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal found last year that the £39,000-a-year school had discriminated against a girl and that staff members failed to tell the youngster’s parents that she had complained of pain in an intimate part of her body.

The tribunal found that a vulnerable youngster had suffered “appalling abuse” at the hands of another student, while the school was slammed by panel members for being “unsystematic, unprofessional, ad hoc and completely inadequate” when it came to protecting the youngster.

Part of Operation Flamborough was to involve an internal inquiry into whether police involved in previous investigations into sex abuse claims at the school should be disciplined.

Mr Marsh was appointed in January last year to take over as chief constable from Alex Marshall – the same time that details first came to light of allegations that a vulnerable teenager had been groomed and sexually abused at Stanbridge Earls.

Mr Marsh joined Hampshire Constabulary as deputy chief constable in July 2010. When approached by the Daily Echo, Mrs Nokes, pictured left, said she did not intend to comment on the issue and had referred our questions to Essex Police.

A Hampshire County Council spokesman said: “We can confirm that we are aware of Operation Oregon, but are not able to provide any further comments – which should be sought from Essex Constabulary who are undertaking the investigation.”

THE revelations are the latest twist in the on-running controversy surrounding Stanbridge Earls.
Details came to light in January 2013 of allegations that a vulnerable teenager had been groomed and sexually abused by another student.

A Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal report said systems which should have protected the girl were “unsystematic, unprofessional, ad hoc and completely inadequate”.

Head teacher Peter Trythall was accused of “a failure of responsibility”.

The report described how the girl went to school staff and it became clear she had been involved in a sexual encounter. Her parents were not informed, and only found out when she told them at a later date.

In the months that followed, the Department of Education called the standard of care at the school “shockingly poor”, but Ofsted bosses had to take disciplinary action against some of their own staff after admitting mistakes were made while investigating the school.

Meanwhile, Hampshire police had set up Operation Flamborough to find out whether there had been “further criminal offences” at the school.

Later, an Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation began into complaints made to Hampshire police concerning their conduct over the abuse allegations.

In August last year, the Daily Echo revealed that chief constable Andy Marsh was under investigation.

The school closed when too few pupils were signed up for the next school year.

IN A letter entitled “Operation Oregon – an investigation into your complaints against Chief Constable Andy Marsh”, Essex Police chief constable Stephen Kavanagh sets out the details of the probe.

Names of people involved have been changed to B, C and D to protect the identities of those

The letter, which is dated October 17 and headed with the Essex Police logo, sets out how it is
alleged that the chief constable of Hampshire Constabulary:

• Himself disclosed, and/or authorised or instructed a police officer serving with Hampshire
Constabulary to disclose, details of a criminal investigation, specifically details of a victim of alleged rape and/or sexual abuse and other personal data to third parties including; Caroline Nokes, Member of Parliament for Romsey and Southampton North, and Hampshire County Council. It is alleged that in doing so the Chief Constable; (1) breached the complainants’ and, where
applicable, their child’s right to confidentiality, (2) breached the Data Protection Act 1998, and (3) is in contempt of court.

• Prevented a Section 47 of the Children Act 1998 investigation without evaluating the risk to children involved.

• Concealed information from B’s child’s placing authority without evaluating the risk to the child.

• Gave instructions to officers which were designed to mislead two of the complainants, B and C, into thinking that Operation Flamborough was an investigation into the sexual abuse of children, when in fact merely represented a “strategy discussion” to prevent “negative publicity”.

• Informed the PCC that Operation Flamborough was established to protect Hampshire Constabulary’s reputation.

• Ignored his primary duties regarding investigating crime to the detriment of vulnerable children.

• Did not ensure that Operation Flamborough was a thorough investigation into the sexual abuse of female pupils and as a consequence D’s vulnerable child came to harm.

• Failed to protect D’s child from sexual abuse as a direct consequence of his actions.

• Breached C’s role as a possible witness.



  1. Troyhand said:

    Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales) – June 4, 2004
    Ex-Pc jailed for passing information to paedophile

    A former police officer was jailed yesterday for passing on information from a police national computer to a paedophile friend, which enabled him to continue abusing young children.

    David Nutton, 38, of Newport, Isle of Wight, was jailed at Winchester Crown Court for 18 months for gross misconduct in office.

    He was also sentenced to 18 months, to run concurrent, for an offence of indecent assault against a 12-year-old boy, dating back 16 years ago.

    The court heard that between January 1 and September 25 last year, Nutton, a police constable serving on the Isle of Wight was asked by his friend, Vaughan Evans, a minister in the spiritual humanist church, whether he was being investigated for paedophile offences after a complaint was made against him that he allowed boys to stay at his home.

    Nutton accessed the Hampshire police intelligence system and the police national computer and found no investigation at that stage was taking place, the court heard.

    He then passed this information on to Evans, the court heard.

    Evans, from Freshwater, Isle of Wight, was last year jailed for five years for charges of indecently assaulting a 10-year-old boy and distributing and making indecent images of children.

    Nutton, who pleaded guilty today to the charge of gross misconduct in office, was found guilty in March this year of indecently assaulting the boy between 1988 and 1990.

  2. Troyhand said:

    The Birmingham Post (England) – November 21, 1998
    Paedophile ring inside St John Ambulance

    Members of a paedophile ring which operated from within the St John Ambulance Brigade over a quarter of a century were in custody awaiting sentence last night. The men, two of whom were superintendents in the brigade, were charged after one cadet came forward to say he had been abused. It led to a flood of former members making similar allegations and a police team of 25 detectives being assigned to the case. Officers flew to Australia, Canada and the Falkland Islands to interview former St John cadets who were victims. By the end of the investigation they had identified more than 80 victims, all under 16 – the majority of whom were St John members. The ring was headed by the man in charge of the Farnborough Division of the brigade in Hampshire, Superintendent Leslie Gaines (64). Gaines, of Hawthorne Road, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, has already pleaded guilty to 11 charges of indecent assault. He has also admitted five charges of buggery and one attempted buggery of St John cadets. Colin Hawyes (51), of West Heath Road, Farnborough, who succeeded Gaines as head of the division, was convicted after a trial. Hawyes, a contracts manager, was found guilty of three charges of indecently assaulting boys. The lodger at Gaines’s flat, 69-year-old Eric Attfield, of Western Road, Aldershot, was found guilty of two indecent assaults on boys. He was also convicted of one offence of buggery and two attempted buggeries. He was cleared of one indecent assault and one buggery.

  3. Troyhand said:

    The Journal (Newcastle, England) – April 24, 2004
    Judge is arrested on child porn allegations

    A senior Crown Court judge has been arrested over child pornography allegations.

    Judge David Selwood, 69, who is the resident judge at Portsmouth Crown Court, was arrested on Wednesday as part of a national paedophile investigation.

    He was interviewed by detectives over allegations of possessing indecent images of children and released on police bail pending inquiries.

    Yesterday, at his pounds 500,000 semi-detached house in Winchester, Hampshire, the former army major-general refused to talk to reporters about the allegations when he answered his intercom.

    Judge Selwood has been a circuit judge since 1992. He and his wife Barbara have three grown-up sons and one daughter.

    A Hampshire Police spokesman said: “Police can confirm that a man was arrested at an address in Winchester on April 21 in connection with a countrywide paedophile investigation.

    “The man was interviewed at a police station in Hampshire and subsequently released on police bail pending further inquiries.”

  4. Troyhand said:

    Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England) – June 13, 2004

    A PAEDOPHILE police doctor who filmed himself drugging and raping young girls gained access to one of his victims through a social event organised by West Midlands cops.

    Forensic examiner Robert Wells, 52, later video-taped himself sexually abusing the 11-year-old Midland youngster over a contraption he kept at home called ‘Satan’s pillow’.

    Twice-divorced Wells worked as a trusted police surgeon through agency Primecare for the West Midlands force from July 1999 to December 2000. Yet he had stood trial in 1995 for sexually assaulting young girls -but was acquitted.

    Wells, who had homes in Southampton and Brighton, was jailed for 15 years on Tuesday for two counts of rape, four indecent assaults, two counts of administering drugs and one of making an indecent photo of a child.

    Police are still trying to crack codes to get into his computer files which may hide photos of him abusing others.

    The Sunday Mercury has discovered Wells met the 19-year-old sister of his 11-year-old Midland victim at a West Midlands Police social event in summer 2000. The girls lived with another sister and their mother in Warwickshire.

    A police source said: ‘They met at an event organised by the police, some kind of social day. The 19year-old was immediately flattered by Wells’ attention.’

    The couple became an item and moved to a flat the pervert had bought in Southampton. It was in there or in Wells’ camper van that the surgeon abused his girlfriend’s young sister. He rubbed baby oil over her and raped her ‘five or six times’ in the autumn of 2002 and winter of 2003.

    Winchester Crown Court heard Wells would take off her Harry Potter pyjamas and swap them for a maid’s outfit or basque before abusing her.

    Medical examinations proved the girl had been raped. Traces of the sleeping drug temazepam -also used as a date rape drug -were found in her hair.

    Neighbours of the Warwickshire family yesterday told how Wells’ girlfriend had wanted to marry him after completing her studies.

    Friends also told the Sunday Mercury that Wells had torn apart a loving family.

    One man said: ‘I think they’re only just coming to terms with what’s happened. The one who was his girlfriend had no idea what he was really like.

    ‘She’s young and I think she really fell for him. We saw them together quite a few times. After she moved down south with him, they used to visit.’

    After serving with the West Midlands force, Wells was subcontracted to Hampshire Police for 18 months from October 2001 -in which time he examined thousands of victims of crime.

    The court was told the paedophile put another 11-year-old girl through an horrific sex ordeal -again after sedating her. The police doctor, who filmed his attacks and kept the images on his computer, even drugged her five year-old sister.

    The offences came to light after the two young sisters returned home after spending a night at Wells’ Southampton flat.

    Their mother noticed the eldest girl seemed ‘spaced out’ and both girls tested positive for date-rape drugs.

    Officers seized his computers and discovered film of him abusing the Warwickshire girl in a camper van.

    Wells, whose last address was in Cwmbran, Gwent, hit the headlines in 1988 when he was dubbed the Romeo Doc after he was declared bankrupt with debts of pounds 1.5million. He blew much of the cash on a string of lovers.

    Hampshire Police has ordered an inquiry into the 3,731 times it used Wells between October 2001and his arrest in February 2003.

    A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said they had been unable to trace details of any cases Wells worked on while he was subcontracted to the force.

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