Two men arrested over historical sex abuse claims at infamous Catholic boys home

Two arrested over historical sex abuse claims at boys home Credit: Gavin Fogg/ PA Wire

Two men have been arrested in relation to alleged historical sex abuse at an infamous Catholic boys home, police said.

A 72-year-old man from Bedford was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting four children, while a 79-year-old man from Mundford, Norfolk, was arrested on suspicion of six sexual and 14 physical assaults at St Francis Boys' Home in Shefford, Bedfordshire

The abuse is alleged to have happened at the children's home during the 1960s and 1970s.Detectives have so far identified more than 80 potential victims.Both of the arrested men have been bailed until April pending further inquiries.

A further two people were interviewed by police, a 68-year-old man was voluntarily interviewed under caution for sexual assault and inquiries continue.

A 78-year-old woman from Shefford was interviewed under caution for sexual assault. She was released with no further action.

Further potential suspects have been identified and will be interviewed in due course, according to police.

Former residents referred to St Francis' as the 'orphanage from hell', founded in 1868 it was a home for those from poor or broken families.

Run by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Northampton, it closed in 1974.

The diocese has previously said it "deeply regrets" any hurt caused but stressed the "claims are not proven".