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Twenty alleged victims in Smith abuse investigation

Twenty people who claim they were sexually abused by former Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith have now come forward, police say.

Sir Cyril Smith, who died in 2010, has been accused of abusing children. Credit: PA Wire

Smith, who died aged 82 in 2010, is alleged to have targeted young people at Knowl View School and at another school in Rochdale over a near 30-year period.

At least one victim has claimed she was raped by the 29-stone politician at Knowl View.

Police are now discussing with lawyers the charges Smith would have faced if he was still alive, to give "closure and clarity" to victims.

Smith had 'full parental rights' over young residents

A police report has revealed that Sir Cyril Smith was interviewed by an officer in February 1970, but refused to answer questions regarding indecent assault allegations against young boys.

More: Failure to prosecute Cyril Smith a 'missed opportunity'

In a pre-prepared statement at the time, Sir Cyril stated "most emphatically" that he had not behaved indecently towards the boys.

Sir Cyril Smith is alleged to have indecently assaulted boys. Credit: PA Archive

When handing over his statement, the politician also produced a copy of an agreement, allegedly signed by the young residents, in which they agreed to allow officers of the hostel to exercise "full parental rights" over them on all matters, including "medical and general discipline".

The assaults allegedly took place in a residential hostel whose establishment Smith had been the "prime motivator" behind.

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Victim: Cyril Smith 'had such a grip' on Rochdale

One of the victims abused by former Liberal MP Cyril Smith has told ITV News that the politician was such a "bully" that people were afraid to challenge his behaviour.

Eddie Shorrock told ITV News Political Correspondent Romilly Weeks that Smith had "such a grip" on the Lancashire town of Rochdale that he "would have challenged anyone" who questioned his conduct.

Failure to prosecute Cyril Smith a 'missed opportunity'

Prosecutors missed the opportunity to stop decades of abuse from former Liberal MP Cyril Smith, an MP who has campaigned over the issue has told ITV News.

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk was responding to a newly released police report from 1970 that shows police were "extremely confident" they could have successfully prosecuted Smith.

Cyril Smith 'overawed' teens with 'dominant' personality

Cyril Smith's "extremely dominant" personality made his victims reluctant to come forward with allegations, according to a police report accusing the former Liberal MP of committing numerous indecent assaults on teenage boys.

The assaults allegedly took place in a residential hostel whose establishment Smith had been the "prime motivator" behind.

A section of the redacted report that accused Cyril Smith of 'indecent practices' towards teenage boys.

The redacted document says Smith enjoyed great prestige in his home town of Rochdale, where he was "dominant in council affairs" and had "favourable publicity" from the local newspaper.

It also says the 29-stone politician's "sheer physical bulk" was one of the factors that "overawed" his young victims.

Report reveals 'veiled threats' over charging Cyril Smith

A police report from 1970 has revealed that a magistrate who knew former Liberal MP Cyril Smith issued "veiled threats" to police investigating the abuse of eight teenage boys in Rochdale.

The redacted report, from a Detective Superintendent to the Chief Constable of Lancashire police, shows how confident police were that Smith was guilty of "a sordid series of indecent episodes" involving teenage boys.

The Director of Public Prosecutions later advised against prosecuting Smith, who died in 2010.

According to the document the magistrate told officers: "In my opinion, as a Justice of the Peace, it [the allegations] is not court worthy."

The police report said there was 'prima facie' evidence of Cyril Smith's guilt. Credit: PA Images

"The prosecution can do no good at all and the backlash will have unfortunate repercussions for the police force and the town of Rochdale."

Despite these "veiled threats and innuendos", the report's author makes clear there was "prima facie" evidence that Smith was "guilty of numerous offences of indecent assault".

It also says Smith was interviewed by police at his own request and his performance was "most unimpressive".

The officer claims the then Liberal parliamentary candidate would have been "at the mercy of any competent counsel", if the decision were made to prosecute him.

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21 suspects identified in Sir Cyril Smith investigation

Detectives investigating historical allegations of physical and sexual abuse at a school linked to the late politician Sir Cyril Smith have now identified 21 potential suspects.

Ten people have so far come forward to say they were abused at Knowl View residential school in Rochdale - seven of those claimed they suffered at the hands of Sir Cyril.

File photo of Sir Cyril Smith dated 1990. Credit: PA Wire/PA Wire

The Lib Dem MP, who died in 2010, was said to have held a set of keys to the establishment where he served as a governor and later as chairman of governors.

A fresh investigation into Knowl View, which closed in the mid-1990s, began at the end of 2012, but so far no arrests have been made.

Review into Smith 'abuse cover-up' expected in July

The leader of Rochdale Council, Colin Lambert, said he expected the widened review into abuse allegations at the town's Knowl View School will be completed by the end of July.

Led by Neil Garnham QC, the major inquiry will look at claims of historical sex abuse linked to late Liberal Democrat MP Sir Cyril Smith, at premises owned, managed or operated by the council from 1961 to 1995.

Mr Garnham will be tasked with identifying whether there was a pattern to such abuse, whether it was tolerated, facilitated or promoted by the council or its officers and staff, and whether there was a council culture that "inhibited the proper investigation, exposure and prevention of such abuse".

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Police appeal for Knowl View victims to come forward

Cyril Smith

The investigation into sex abuse at Knowl View School in Rochdale, linked to the dead MP Cyril Smith, will widen the scope of its review to consider the allegations of abuse, and the town council's reaction to them.

Leader of Rochdale Council Colin Lambert appeared with Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, who appealed for victims to come forward and said police trying to trace 'a significant number' of victims.

Chief Constable Fahy also said police have a 'number' of suspects, but have made no arrests at the moment.

Police said these cases are 'extremely difficult' and take time, but his force were determined to carry out a thorough investigation.

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