Stowmarket: Detectives battle to extradite St George’s teacher over historic child abuse allegations
12:38 01 March 2014
A former teacher is fighting an extradition battle with Suffolk detectives trying to bring him back to England over child sex abuse allegations.
The accusations date back more than 30 years and relate to St George’s School, near Stowmarket.
The ex-teacher involved is now based in France, which has meant a lengthy court process has ensued in a bid for him to return to Suffolk.
St George’s, which was in Great Finborough, has been at the centre of an ongoing police investigation since 2009.
Since then officers have been investigating complaints by former pupils after setting up an inquiry codenamed Operation Racecourse.
Prior to relocating to Suffolk after the summer term of 1980, the school was based at Wicklewood, near Wymondham in Norfolk. The man fighting extradition is understood to have worked at both locations.
In 2010 St George’s former headteacher Derek Slade was jailed for a total of 21 years by Ipswich Crown Court.
The then 61-year had been convicted of abusing 12 boys who were pupils at the school.
They were aged eight to 13 when the abuse took place between 1978 and 1983.
Slade, who was living in Burton-on-Trent at the time of his arrest, admitted 15 indecent assaults and five assaults on boys, along with 17 child porn offences involving 4,486 indecent images.
He also admitted possessing a false passport.
At his trial he was convicted of three offences of buggery, four other indecent assaults and six further charges of actual bodily harm.
Since Slade’s conviction Suffolk detectives have continued to investigate other allegations of sexual abuse.
As a result of their enquiries officers have been seeking to bring a man back from the continent.
However, the former teacher has been fighting extradition for at least two years.
He is understood to be a French national.
It is also understood there have been hearings before courts in France in an attempt to bring him back to Suffolk.
However, the ongoing application made on behalf of Suffolk Constabulary has yet to come to a conclusion, as the man continues to resist extradition.
St George’s School and Wicklewood were private schools, which primarily catered for the children of service personnel.
Suffolk Constabulary declined to comment in relation to the extradition proceedings.
However, Lisa McGrann, a spokeswoman for the constabulary said: “Our enquiries in relation to alleged abuse at the former St George’s School in Great Finborough are ongoing.”