July 11, 2022 7.00 pm

Skegness man charged over historic child sex offences at former SEND school

Inquiry into behaviour at Worcestershire school

Eight people, including an 82-year-old man from Skegness, have been charged with decades-old child abuse offences following an inquiry into allegations at a former special education school.

The charges, which vary from physical to sexual abuse of children, relate to incidents at the former Rhydd Court School in Hanley Castle, Worcestershire – with the alleged offences taking place between the late 1970s and early 1990s.

The former special education site was the subject of an inquiry by the police following these allegations, with West Mercia Police adding that any charges are related solely to the time the premises were owned by the local authority.

Five men and three women are due before Worcester Magistrates’ Court on August 4 in connection with the offences, with West Mercia Police saying those charged are from all over the country.

One of the eight is John Dixon, 82, of Burgh Le Marsh, Skegness, who is charged with four counts of a serious sexual offence, two counts of conspiracy to commit the same serious sexual offence, six counts of indecent assault and two counts of conspiracy to commit child cruelty.

It has been stressed by officers that proceedings were not linked “in any way” to anyone connected to the site since it was sold – as it is now no longer a school.

The other accused people are from the likes of Rotherham, Plymouth, Worcester and Wakefield (read more on BBC News here), with Dixon the only person from Lincolnshire to be charged for the offences.