A 16-year-old boy has been charged with attempted murder following an attack on two fellow pupils and a teacher at a boarding school in Devon.
The teenager was arrested in the early hours of Friday morning following an incident at the prestigious Blundell’s private school in Tiverton, which left one boy fighting for his life and another being treated in hospital for serious injuries.
A member of staff, who attempted to intervene, was also injured during the incident, but was discharged from hospital following treatment.
The schoolboy, who cannot be named due to his age, was charged on Saturday with two counts of attempted murder and one count of grievous bodily harm with intent and is due to appear before Exeter Magistrates’ Court on Monday morning.
Police and ambulance crews were called to the £41,000 a year school just before 1am on Friday following reports of a violent disturbance involving pupils boarding in Petergate house.
Two pupils remain in hospital with one said to be in a critical condition. The families of both victims are with them and are being supported by police officers.
A 16-year-old was arrested on suspicion of causing GBH with intent and police confirmed they had recovered a stash of weapons at the scene.
Commander Superintendent Toby Davies from the Devon and Cornwall force said: “Our thoughts remain with the injured boys and their families in what must be a harrowing time for them. My officers are continuing to support them and the wider school community.
“We continue to fully investigate this incident and a scene guard remains in place at the school and is expected to remain there for the rest of the day.”
He also urged people not to speculate about the circumstances surrounding the incident and reminded those on social media that the suspect cannot be named.
Mr Davies explained: “These rules are not solely for media organisations to adhere to; they also apply to members of the public and includes information posted via social media.
“This may be seen as interfering with a live investigation and an active criminal trial, and therefore could see those who do not adhere found in contempt of court.
“We therefore remind the public that it is vital that they do not speculate on the identity of either the victims or the suspect in this case.”
‘It’s very unsettling and distressing’
Meanwhile, worried parents of children who board at the 400-year-old school continued to arrive at the weekend to check on their welfare.
The mother of one pupil at Blundell’s Preparatory School told The Telegraph: “It’s very upsetting for everybody involved when anything like this happens in a school, especially the children, but also the parents and staff. It’s very unsettling and distressing for us.”
The school was founded in 1604 following the death of Peter Blundell, a local merchant who was one of England’s richest men and left £20,000 to be spent on building a school for a maximum of 150 boys.
The first girl was admitted to the sixth form in 1975 and it is now fully co-educational. Around two-thirds of the senior school board and there are a mixture of single sex and mixed houses.
The school, which is located on the edge of Dartmoor, is known for its pupils’ sporting prowess.
It has a string of notable sporting alumni, including Dom Bess, who plays for the England Test cricket team, and the English rugby union players Matt Kvesic and Jack Maunder.
Former pupils also include the reality TV star Georgia Toffolo, John Wyndham, the author of Day of the Triffids, and Vic Marks, the former Somerset and England cricketer.
Bart Wielenga, the current headmaster, has written to all parents to reassure them that it was an “isolated incident” and there is no wider risk to other pupils.