Oakwood School for Boys, Stowmarket


We now have 114 Claimants in this group action against Suffolk County Council. Oakwood School was open from 1974 until 2000 when it was closed suddenly.


Our letter before action in June 2011 prompted Suffolk Police to commence Operation Oxenton investigating 18 alleged abusers. Group proceedings were  issued in the Cambridge County Court in July 2012.


As a result of Operation Oxenton and two lengthy trials at the Ipswich Crown Court, Mr De Smith was found guilty of 4 indecent assaults and 3 charges of indecency with a  child. He received 7 years imprisonment. Mr Michael Watts and Mr Roger West each admitted to two charges of child cruelty and received fines and conditional discharges. 

To date we have achieved compensation for over 130 claimants.


We are still encouraging any former pupils of Oakwood School who suffered or witnessed abuse to come forward. Please contact us for further information. 


Further Information:


EADT, 13th May 2016 : - 'Stowmarket School abuse payout by Suffolk County Council' 

BBC News, 19th May 2015 : -  ‘Stowmarket Oakwood School trial: Two former teachers admit abuse’


BBC News, 22nd May 2015 : - ‘Oakwood School head teacher Eric de Smith jailed for sex abuse’

EADT, 4th August 2015 : - '1997 Stowmarket school abuse probe had 75 complainants, but not enough evidence to prosecute'


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