Protestors have angrily demonstrated outside the offices of Calderdale Social Services calling for an inquiry into abuse at Skircoat Lodge Assessment Centre in Halifax to be reopened.

Operation Screen, an investigation into a number of sexual abuse allegations at various Calderdale children’s homes, concluded in 2002 with a number of arrests and subsequent convictions made.

Malcolm Osric Phillips and Andrew James Shalders both received lengthy prison sentences following the conclusion of investigations for abuse at Skircoat Lodge. Additionally, 6 other individuals were arrested in connection with sexual and physical abuse. However there was insufficient evidence for charges to be brought.

Now victims of abuse who wish police to delve further into the extent of the abuse that took place have come forward.

Chief Supt Dickie Whitehead, Calderdale District Commander, told the BBC: “A thorough investigation was carried out by police and the council between 1997 and 2002 following allegations against a number of employees at Skircoat Lodge Assessment Centre and Dobroyd Castle.
“This led to a number of arrests and prosecutions, resulting in a number of substantial prison sentences.

“We can promise that reports will be investigated and victims will be treated with the utmost sensitivity.”

Lee Fannon, solicitor in the abuse claims department at Jordans Solicitors, said: “Jordans Solicitors have and continue to act for clients who have been terribly affected by their experiences at Skircoat Lodge. The home was heavily investigated in the past and the convictions of abusers from those enquiries are well documented, serving to highlight the serious nature of what happened there.

“We are pleased to note that the Police remain sensitive to the needs of victims and their promise to investigate any new allegations is welcomed”


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