Teenage boy in critical condition after serious incident at Devon private school

Blundell’s School in Tiverton, Devon (R-Jay/Alamy/PA)
Blundell’s School in Tiverton, Devon (R-Jay/Alamy/PA)

A teenage boy is in a critical condition after three people sustained multiple serious injuries at a private school.

Devon and Cornwall Police were called to Blundell’s School in Tiverton, Devon, following reports of a serious assault at about 1am on Friday.

The force said two teenage boys, who were pupils at the school, along with an adult male member of staff, had been assaulted and sustained serious injuries.

One of the boys is in a critical condition in hospital, while the second is in a stable condition.

The member of staff has been discharged from hospital.

A 16-year-old boy from Tiverton has been arrested on suspicion of three counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and remains in police custody.

In a statement issued on Friday evening, police confirmed that weapons had been located at the scene.

Superintendent Antony Hart, local policing commander, said: “We are still establishing what happened in the early hours of this morning and an extensive investigation continues.

“Two teenage boys, who both sustained serious injuries, remain in hospital at this time. One of the boys is in a critical condition and the other is in a stable condition.

“An adult male, who is a member of staff at the school and sustained serious injuries, has now been discharged from hospital.

“Our investigation is being assisted by experts who are assessing the injuries sustained and how they were caused.

“While we can confirm some weapons were located at the scene, it would not be appropriate to speculate on how these may have been involved while our inquiries continue.

“Our priority is to fully investigate this incident and support the victims, their families and the school community. Our thoughts remain with the injured boys, man and their loved ones.”

Police previously described the incident as “traumatic” and said it was understood that all parties involved were linked to the school.

South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust was called to the incident at 00.57am on Friday.

A spokesman said: “We sent three double-crewed land ambulances, an air ambulance, a rapid response vehicle and hazardous area response teams.

“Three individuals were conveyed by land ambulance to hospital.”

Alison Hernandez, police and crime commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is liaising with the charity Victim Support to provide specialist help for those who need it.

“Incidents of this nature are always shocking, but when they take place in a school setting they are particularly distressing and my thoughts are with everyone involved,” she said.

Ms Hernandez added that the events would “no doubt have a lasting effect on the school community and their families”.

Headteacher Bart Wielenga sent a letter to parents and guardians about the incident, which happened at one of the boarding houses, on Friday.

He wrote: “I regret to inform you that there was a serious incident in Petergate during the night.

“Two boys were seriously injured and are in hospital receiving attention. We are confident that this was an isolated incident and there is no ongoing threat or concern.

“The incident is being investigated by the police and there will be a police presence around Petergate for some time. The school is working closely with the police as they follow their procedures.”

Mr Wielenga said he would be addressing pupils, adding: “I will reassure them that support is available to anyone who feels upset by what has happened.”

The school’s counsellor and chaplain were present at the school’s Lady Chapel throughout Friday.

Mr Wielenga urged parents and guardians not to engage in speculation or post about the incident on social media.