September 2003

Former Housemaster Jailed

A former housemaster at an approved school for young boys has been jailed for three years for an indecent assault on a teenager and violent attacks on others. Neil Wardell, 44, was also banned from working with young people again and will be put on the sex offenders’ register for life on his release.

Wardell, now of Alexandria, Dumbartonshire, Scotland, worked at the Ty Mawr approved boarding school, in Gliwern, Monmouthshire, south Wales, between 1982 and the end of 1988.

The school was closed in 1991 after a joint police and social services investigation.

A Newport Crown Court jury found him guilty of six separate offences at the end of a trial two months ago.

They included an indecent assault on a teenage boy who was grabbed by Wardell while he was taking a shower.

They also included five separate violent assaults including hitting a teenage boy’s head against a pane of glass and slapping another.

At the end of the trial Wardell was cleared of seven offences of serious sexual assault. He was sentenced today having been on bail over the summer.

Fiona Dix-Dyer, defending, said that Wardell had been forced to leave his flat in Leeds as a result of adverse publicity surrounding the case.

He had also lost a job in Leeds working in customer services and had been left without friends.

He had since moved to Scotland and was living with his brother and brother’s wife and intended to start again.

Wardell’s conviction follows the jailing of the approved school’s former deputy principal Barrie Alden, 69, in 2000.

Alden was sentenced to 15 years in prison after being found guilty of 10 offences against pupils at the school, including serious sexual attacks, going back to the mid-1960s