Feb 16, 2018

Police investigating claims of abuse at charity after teen is found dead

Court Reporter
Lincolnshire Live
February 15, 2018

Police are investigating allegations of abuse at a Christian charity after a 16-year-old boy who went there as a child was found dead.
Lucas Holness hanged himself in his family home in Aby - but an inquest into his death heard he often talked about physical and mental abuse he said he suffered at the Christian charity Well Grange near Alford as a child.

He also made claims about being beaten on visits there as a young boy.

The inquest at Spilsby Coroner’s Court heard that Lucas was hit and forced to burn his toys - and heard his sister Jessica was also hit with a wooden spoon.

Lucas felt ‘broken' as a result, the hearing was told.

Assistant coroner Richard Marshall heard the teenager had been subject to physical and mental abuse at Well Grange when he was about five years old.
Mr Marshall said: “Lucas has told counsellors he felt broken after incidents at Well Grange. One woman had hit Jessica with a wooden spoon. Lucas said he was very upset at Well Grange.”

Josephine Holness, Lucas’ other sister, gave a statement which was read out in court.

It said: “People at Well Grange would come and pick mum up if she did not go there. There were times Lucas was dropped off and left there. Lucas told counsellors he used to be hit when he was there.”

In a statement read out at the hearing, Lucas’ girlfriend Brooke Beamond said he was a happy and fun person but had changed at the beginning of 2017.

Her statement said: “He would go on downers. He told me that as a child a babysitter would hit him until he would bleed. I feel it had more of an effect on him than he realised.”

According to the Charity Commission, Well Grange is the base in Lincolnshire of the Living Waters Christian Fellowship, a charity which carries out education, training and religious activities.

Lincolnshire Police revealed at the inquest that investigations were ongoing in relation to the accusations there.
Detective inspector David McKean told the inquest: “We have spoken with many witnesses and there are still five or six to speak to. We also have one suspect to speak with in connection with this.”
Lucas, who attended Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Alford, became close with his sister’s partner Nicholas Lobley, a mechanic, and confided in him on many occasions, the hearing was told.

Mr Lobley would even attend counselling sessions with Lucas.
Mr Lobley said in a statement: “Lucas joined the air cadets and worked with me in my garage. He did up an old car and sold it on for profit.

“By the end of 2016, he no longer attended air cadets. At the last session of counselling we attended, on April 27, Lucas said he suffered physical and mental abuse at Well Grange. He said he was forced to burn his toys.”

Lucas was described by his family as a fun-loving boy who worked part-time at the Railway Tavern pub in Aby.

He had had hopes of attending Grimsby College to study mechanics, the hearing was told.

In another statement read out at the hearing, Andrew Holness’, Lucas’ dad, said: “In late 2016, he became introverted. He would play loud music in his room.”

The court also heard Lucas had tried to commit suicide on two other occasions.

The coroner ruled that Lucas took his own life.


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