The BBC has reported that a second man has come forward to report repeated physical and sexual abuse at the St Francis Boys Home in Shefford, nr Bedford, during the 1950s and 1960s. The home closed in 1974.

Father John Ryan was arrested in 2003 following similar allegations but released without charge. He died in 2008. He was described by a number of residents as “brutal” and evil”.

This follows an earlier report by the BBC in May, where victims of Fr Ryan advised that they were arranging a reunion, and considering starting a group action against the home.

A spokesman for the A spokesman for the Northamptonshire Diocese of the Catholic Church, which ran the home, said it “deeply regrets” any hurt caused, but stressed the “claims are not proven”, and that it would be inappropriate to comment further as there could be “legal and police implications”.

Bedfordshire Police have spoken with a number of men, and have started a new investigation into physical and sexual abuse at the home. Their safeguarding unit is keen to hear from anyone about any possible offences at the home.


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