VICTIMS of a child abuse scandal at a former Worcestershire school continue to come forward after others bravely spoke out about their rape ordeal.

We have previously reported the abuse at St Gilbert's in Hartlebury near Worcester after victims waived their right to anonymity to speak about the rapes and beatings they suffered at the approved school.

Former schoolboys as young as 11 were abused by members of a religious order under the governance of the Home Office say victims. West Mercia Police has declined to confirm how many victims have come forward.

However, they are in touch and there are a 'a number of victims'.

Police began investigating after the BBC reported what happened to boys at St Gilbert's in Worcestershire in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. As more victims have come forward the inquiry has been extended into the 1970s. The BBC report refers to abuse by Brother Robert Joseph McHale and Brother Joseph Robert Nicholson, both dead.

Having heard reports of the recent investigation, Victor Aldridge, who was 12 when he was sent to St Gilbert's in 1963, told the BBC he was abused by Brother Roderick, who died in 2012.

Though many of the abusers are dead the extended time frame means some could still be alive and face prosecution.

The treatment of the so-called 'delinquent' boys' emerged at the end of last year. Last year West Mercia issued an apology on BBC Hereford and Worcester to any victims who tried to alert the police to abuse at St Gilbert's School.

A police spokesman said:"We remain in contact with the victims, keeping them informed of the progress of the investigation and we will let them know the outcome of our review of how e-mails sent to the force last January were managed."

Aged between 11 and 15, boys were sent to St Gilbert's in Hartlebury after being convicted of petty offences such as vandalism and shoplifting.

Some were beaten and raped by brothers from the De La Salle order.

The deputy headmaster, Brother Maurice, was convicted of six counts of sexually abusing boys at St Gilbert's but reinstated as a teacher after serving a four-year jail term the BBC said.

Mr Aldridge told the BBC: "It was continuous and went on throughout my time in the school. [Brother] Roderick was a horrible, vicious, violent man.

"He once asked me if I knew who broke his hair clippers, and when I said 'no' he bashed me all around the classroom and afterwards started stroking my neck and said he didn't mean it. And then he interfered with me."

Superintendent Steve Eccleston, Head of Protecting Vulnerable People, said: "West Mercia Police launched an investigation into abuse at St Gilbert’s School after receiving information from the BBC and also directly from victims of abuse at the school.

The school no longer exists and is now residential housing.

“A number of people have come forward to report abuse and an investigation is ongoing into the full circumstances and nature of that abuse. The investigation involves retrieval of historic documentation and records as well as tracing and interviewing further victims and locating any witnesses of abuse. It is too early to confirm whether this investigation will result in any criminal charges against any person, and as such it would be inappropriate for West Mercia Police to comment further on this matter.

The priority however remains with the need to thoroughly investigate the reports of abuse and to ensure that victims and witnesses are free to report confidentially.

“West Mercia Police will work with any victim or witness of abuse who feel they are ready and able to report the matter to us. We treat all reports of abuse with the upmost seriousness, no matter the period of time it is reported from.

“West Mercia Police are in close contact with the Safeguarding leads from the De La Salle organisation, who continue to offer their full support to the investigation."

A spokesman for the De La Salle Order said: "The order condemns without reservation any action or behaviour that harms young people and, in particular, that perpetrated by one of its own members or employees.

It apologises unreservedly to the victims of such behaviour in the past and is committed to support them. It recognises that such abusive behaviour seriously damages victims and their families and is a betrayal of the trust placed in the order.

It also seriously undermines the Order’s dedicated commitment to education in England which spans more than 150 years. In its determination to ensure that such behaviour never occurs again, the De La Salle Order, like many national organisations, has reviewed and revised its past approach to abuse allegations and, as a consequence, has vigorously implemented the safeguarding policies and procedures of the Catholic Church drawn up in response to the Nolan Report of 2001 and the Cumberlege Commission Report of 2007.

These procedures include the immediate referral of any allegation to police investigation and the immediate suspension of the alleged abuser. Consequently, the Order believes that it has robust Child Protection measures in place and is committed to working strenuously to prevent any future abusive behaviour."

If anyone has concerns or information pertaining to St Gilberts School please contact West Mercia Police on 0300 3333000. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously via the independent charity, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via