Council reviews Knowl View school records as another man says he was abused by Cyril Smith there as a child

 

A council is reviewing its manual records of a former local authority school as another alleged victim of Sir Cyril Smith said today he was abused by him there in 1979.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said yesterday that the late Liberal Democrat MP sexually and physically abused young boys in the 1960s as there was "overwhelming evidence" against him.

Three separate files regarding his actions were passed to first the director of public prosecutions (DPP) and the Crown Prosecution Service but on each occasion no prosecution was pursued.

Sir Cyril was secretary of the Rochdale Hostel for Boys Association and was accused of abusing eight youngsters at Cambridge House hostel by spanking and touching them.

He is now linked to similar allegations at council-run Knowl View school for vulnerable boys, which closed in 1992.

One of two recent complaints made to GMP about Sir Cyril is in relation to Knowl View in Rochdale, police sources confirmed.

The force had previously investigated his involvement with the school in the 1980s and 1990s but no claims of sexual abuse were made against him at the time.

Chris Marshall, 40, waived his anonymity today as he told the Manchester Evening News he was forced to perform a sex act on Sir Cyril - known as "the fat man" - when he was aged seven or eight at Knowl View.

Rochdale Council is trawling through its manual files on Knowl View and will pass on any relevant information to the police, who have encouraged anyone else who was a victim of Sir Cyril to come forward.

The council's chief executive, Jim Taylor, said: "If anyone has any information relating to this inquiry I advise them to contact Greater Manchester Police who are investigating the abuse allegations about Cyril Smith. We are co-operating fully with their investigation and any relevant council records will be given straight to the police."

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, who brought the Cambridge House allegations to light in the House of Commons earlier this month, said he believes Sir Cyril went on to abuse more boys after police decided not to prosecute him in the 1970s.

He told ITV1's Daybreak: "I am confident in saying, having met a number of the victims, that he went on to abuse into the 70s, 80s and even into the 90s, so he was empowered by the fact that he hadn't been prosecuted."

Sir Cyril's family say they are "deeply concerned and saddened" about yesterday's developments but pointed out he was not around to defend himself and added they would play no part in "a trial by media".

Meanwhile, Manchester law firm Pannone is preparing legal action against Rochdale Council on behalf of two alleged victims who were based at Cambridge House in the 1960s.

Alan Collins, an abuse case specialist, said: "We are looking at pursuing cases for two alleged victims of Cyril Smith against Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, which is the successor to the Rochdale Borough Council of which Cyril Smith was both the Alderman and chairman of the education committee.

"The Cambridge House home was partly financed by the council.

"A duty of care was owed to the boys which would appear to have been broken by Smith when he allegedly abused them. We will be advising them accordingly as to possible legal action."

Mr Collins added that his company would be talking to a further five alleged victims who have come forward to them.

A council spokesman said: "Cambridge House was a privately run hostel, although the owner did receive £150 of financial support from the council in 1962. It closed in 1965. Requests were made to the council at this time and prior to closure for further funds but these were declined."

Yesterday, both GMP and the Crown Prosecution Service said if Smith had been accused today over Cambridge House then he would be charged and prosecuted.

It is understood that when Lancashire Police quizzed Smith, who died two years ago aged 82, he told them he was in charge of the boys and was entitled to hand out corporal punishment.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
News
people
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones