Knottfield Children’s Home is a former children’s home on the Isle of Man. The home closed in 1983. Whilst open it was run by two separate couples; Mr and Mrs Hamilton and in 1973 Mr and Mrs Marshall took over the home.

A report by the Social Affairs Policy Review Committee ( SAPRC) has found that:

“ vulnerable children suffered horrific abuse whilst they were there; they were physically, emotionally and sexually abused for decades.”

The Committee which formed in 2017 interviewed 14 people who had been residents at Knottfield as children. The people interviewed told the committee that they “ felt there was no one who they could report the abuse too”. One man told the committee that “ he was sexually abused by a stranger when on holiday in Kent and at Warwick Castle by players of a foreign football team.”

The report states that the abuse at the home was perpetrated by employees of the home , adults known to the children and adult strangers. It also found that abuse took place between the children living there.

In 1992 Marshall was convicted of 13 offences against 2 boys who were aged 10 or 11 at the time of the assaults. Marshall was imprisoned for 3 years. The Police have confirmed that an 82 year old man is due to attend Court in relation to indecency offences which are alleged to have taken place at the home in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

As part of the Committee’s investigation the SAPRC also concluded:

  • There had been inadequate support for abuse survivors traumatised as a result of reliving their experiences in police interviews;
  • Key records of inspection visits to the home “appear to have vanished”;
  • There was a need for Tynwald to consider appointing a UK-style Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses;
  • Compensation arrangement for abuse victims should be reviewed;
  • All public bodies should review Safeguarding procedures.

The SAPRC are also concerned that children in care could still be at risk;

“despite improvements made since 1983, it remains possible that a child in the Isle of Man could [still] suffer such emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect while in care”


Jordans Solicitors represent victims who have suffered abuse whilst in children’s homes . If you have been affected by anything in this article and would like advise about pursuing a civil case, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our abuse team can be contacted free on 0800 9555 094.

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