Woman, 67, arrested by police in Earl Spencer sex abuse investigation – after Princess Diana’s brother says he was molested whilst at boarding school

A woman has been arrested by police investigating claims by Princess Diana’s brother that he was sexually abused by a matron while at boarding school.

The 67-year-old woman was arrested a day after Northamptonshire Police announced they had opened a criminal investigation into Earl Spencer’s allegations that he was molested, aged just 11, at Maidwell Hall preparatory school in the 1970s.

In his powerful memoir, A Very Private School – an extract of which was published by The Mail on Sunday in March – Earl Spencer, 60, told how an assistant matron, whom he branded a ‘voracious paedophile’, groomed him and other young boys. 

He said that she was 19 or 20 at the time.

The Earl candidly wrote how the matron, whom he did not name, had first ‘kissed me on the lips’ before she ‘promoted me to the second rank of her reverse harem: those she intimately touched’.

The 67-year-old woman was arrested a day after Northamptonshire Police announced they had opened a criminal investigation into Earl Spencer ‘s allegations that he was molested, aged just 11, at Maidwell Hall preparatory school in the 1970s. 

In his powerful memoir, A Very Private School – an extract of which was published by The Mail on Sunday in March – Earl Spencer, 60, told how an assistant matron, whom he branded a 'voracious paedophile', groomed him and other young boys

In his powerful memoir, A Very Private School – an extract of which was published by The Mail on Sunday in March – Earl Spencer, 60, told how an assistant matron, whom he branded a ‘voracious paedophile’, groomed him and other young boys

Charles Spencer aged 12, reading up on the Battle of Blenheim in the War of the Spanish Succession

Charles Spencer aged 12, reading up on the Battle of Blenheim in the War of the Spanish Succession

A young Earl Spencer, three, is pictured with his sister, Diana, in 1967 before he was sent to boarding school

A young Earl Spencer, three, is pictured with his sister, Diana, in 1967 before he was sent to boarding school 

Excerpts from Charles Spencer's memoir were published exclusively by the Mail

Excerpts from Charles Spencer’s memoir were published exclusively by the Mail

Earl Spencer (left), Prince William, Prince Harry and the Prince of Wales waiting as the hearse carrying the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales prepares to leave Westminster Abbey in 1997

Earl Spencer (left), Prince William, Prince Harry and the Prince of Wales waiting as the hearse carrying the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales prepares to leave Westminster Abbey in 1997

Northamptonshire Police announced they had opened an investigation on June 10 and detectives arrested a Stafford woman the following day. 

A police spokesman said: ‘We are in the early stages of investigating a number of non-recent allegations of sexual abuse at Maidwell Hall school.

‘As part of this investigation we have arrested a 67-year-old woman from Stafford. She has been released on conditional bail while we continue our enquiries.

‘Northamptonshire Police takes all allegations of abuse very seriously and where reports are made to us, we will pursue all available lines of enquiry to help bring perpetrators to justice.’ 

In his memoir, the Earl, who attended Maidwell Hall near Market Harborough between the ages of eight and 13, stated that the matron abused boys in their dormitory beds at night.

He described how the alleged abuse, and the emotional confusion it caused, led to him self-harming and wanting ‘full sex from a too-early age’, with him losing his virginity aged 12 to a prostitute in Italy.

Maidwell Hall has previously urged anyone with similar allegations to Earl Spencer’s to come forward and contact the police or the local authority. 

Northamptonshire Police have also encouraged ‘anyone who has suffered abuse’ to contact them and stressed that people reporting sexual abuse have the legal right to lifelong anonymity.

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