Police investigating historical abuse allegations at Earl Spencer’s school

Police have launched an investigation into historical allegations of sexual abuse at the boarding school where Earl Spencer claimed he was abused.

The brother of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, claimed in his memoir that sexual assaults and beatings at Maidwell Hall School, which he attended from the age of eight, left him with lifelong “demons”.

Northamptonshire Police said on Monday that they had conducted preliminary inquiries into allegations of abuse that are said to have taken place in the 1970s at Maidwell Hall School in West Northamptonshire.

After the publication of Earl Spencer’s book, A Very Private School, Maidwell Hall said it was “sorry” about the experiences he and some other contemporaries had to endure.

In a statement after the publication of the book in March, Maidwell Hall School said: “It has been very sobering to read about the experiences the young Charles Spencer, and some of his contemporaries, had at the school, and we are sorry that this was their experience.

“It is difficult to read about practices which were, sadly, sometimes believed to be normal and acceptable at that time.

“We were also dismayed to read about the allegations of the abuse Charles Spencer suffered.

“Having been alerted to what took place, we immediately made a referral to the Lado (local authority designated officer), to ensure that any disclosures are handled sensitively, expediently and professionally.”

Maidwell Hall added that “almost every facet of school life has evolved significantly since the 1970s” and the “strict safeguarding of children” was at the heart of these changes.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire Police said: “We are in the early stages of investigating a number of non-recent allegations of sexual abuse at Maidwell Hall School.

“Northamptonshire Police takes all allegations of abuse very seriously and where reports are made to us, we will pursue all available lines of inquiry to help bring perpetrators to justice.

“We encourage anyone who has suffered abuse anywhere in our county, at any time, to contact us either online at northants.police.uk, by calling 101 or 03000 111 222 if you’re calling from outside of Northamptonshire.”