Higgins, a teacher at #KnowlView between '69 & '71, is alleged to have committed 18 offences against 2 boys. He's currently in HMP Rye Hill.
The charges relate to incidents of historical sexual abuse that took place against two young boys, aged between 11 and 15 at the time, at Knowl View residential school for boys in Rochdale between 1969 and 1971. The offences were reported separately to Greater Manchester Police in April 2013 and January 2015.
Operation Jaguar was launched following reports of both physical and sexual abuse that took place at Knowl View residential school for boys from 1969 until the school closed in 1995.
Between April 2014 and April 2015, 13 files with multiple allegations were submitted by Greater Manchester Police to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) relating to 27 suspects and 16 victims, of both physical and sexual offences.
Assistant Chief Constable Robert Potts from Greater Manchester Police said:
Investigations into allegations of historical sexual and physical abuse are by their very nature extremely complex and protracted inquiries. These investigations are managed with the utmost sensitivity and files of evidence are put together by officers before being discussed and considered with the Crown Prosecution Service.
We will always investigate any allegations of abuse, regardless of when they took place, and support from the police and other relevant organisations is provided to anyone that makes a report.
– ASSISTANT CHIEF CONSTABLE ROBERT POTTS FROM GREATER MANCHESTER POLICE
The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed it authorised Greater Manchester Police to charge David Higgins, aged 76, with 19 sexual offences against two boys between 1969 and 1971 following investigations by Greater Manchester Police into alleged abuse at Knowl View residential school for boys in Rochdale.
David Higgins was working at Knowl View school at the time of the alleged offences.
Claire Lindley, Chief Crown Prosecutor for North West CPS said:
We have carefully considered the evidence gathered by police in connection with their investigations into alleged abuse at Knowl View residential school for boys. Having completed our review in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for David Higgins to be charged with 18 charges of indecent assault and 1 charge of attempted indecent assault.
The alleged offences date from 1969 to 1970 and relate to two complainants who were under 16 at the time of the alleged offending. He will appear via video link at Bury Magistrates Court on 4th May 2016.
With criminal proceedings now underway it is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.
– CLAIRE LINDLEY, CHIEF CROWN PROSECUTOR FOR NORTH WEST CPS