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Government child sex abuse inquiry may examine cases in Haringey

PUBLISHED: 10:35 13 February 2015

Home secretary Theresa May suggested claims could form part of the inquiry. Picture: PA/David Jones

Home secretary Theresa May suggested claims could form part of the inquiry. Picture: PA/David Jones

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Historic allegations of child sex abuse in Haringey may be investigated as part of home secretary Theresa May’s independent inquiry.

Tottenham MP David LammyTottenham MP David Lammy

Tottenham MP David Lammy opened up the possibility that victims could come forward to notify the inquiry, after telling Mrs May there were suggestions that child sex abuse had historically taken place throughout the borough and asked her whether the matter will be looked at.

Referring to former Highgate Wood School PE teacher Andrew Adams, jailed for 12 years last July for grooming a 13-year-old male pupil for sex in the early 1980s, Mr Lammy said: “Very sadly, a constituent of mine was horribly abused throughout his teenage years at Highgate Wood School... That led to a conviction last summer.

“There are suggestions that there were other examples of abuse at that school and in the London borough of Haringey. Will that matter fall within the scope of the inquiry?”

Mrs May said the inquiry will look at abuse that has taken place in both state and non-state institutions, adding: “It will look at why it was possible for that abuse to take place. Those who are in authority in a school have a duty to protect the children and not to abuse them.

Andrew Adams, pictured at Highgate Wood School sometime in the 1970s.Andrew Adams, pictured at Highgate Wood School sometime in the 1970s.

“The inquiry will look at whether the duty of care was exercised properly by people in those institutions, and at what lessons we need to learn to ensure that such abuse does not happen in the future.”

Highgate Wood School headteacher Patrick Cozier said its thoughts remained with teh victim, adding: “We wholeheartedly support the right of victims of historic abuse to have their voices heard and would of course offer our full support to the police in investigating any further concerns about historic abuse.”

A Haringey Council spokeswoman said: “We support the right of victims of historic abuse to have their voices heard as part of the government’s independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

“We would of course treat any allegation of historic child sexual abuse in Haringey very seriously and would work closely with the police and any school affected to ensure that any concerns were thoroughly investigated. We would urge anyone with concerns about possible historic child sexual abuse to contact the police.”

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