Ex-pupil in tears over alleged abuse

AN ALLEGED victim of sexual abuse by a former Suffolk headteacher broke down in tears as he told a court how he and other schoolboys were beaten.

The man said he was aged 10 when he fell foul of Derek Slade’s corporal punishment regime at St George’s School in Great Finborough in the early 1980s, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Giving evidence yesterday, the man said the first occasion it happened was after he was caught sliding down the bannister outside Slade’s study.

Slade saw the boy and ordered him into his office. The youngster was told to take his trousers off, before being given corporal punishment by the defendant, the jury was told.

The man said it was the first of nine or ten occasions that he was beaten.

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The court heard there was a stars and stripes, or spots, system in operation at the school which was on a board with names on outside Slade’s study.

If anyone fell foul of the system they were given essays to do or were beaten, the witness said.

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He recalled another occasion when he saw other boys leave Slade’s study, one of whom was in pain, crying, and “walking funny”.

The witness said when he went in for his punishment he saw Slade sweating, and with the belt and zip of his trousers undone.

Another time the witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said he was beaten on his bare buttocks with a Jakari, similar to a table tennis bat without the padding.

He said he was hit around six times and was in a lot of pain. The court heard Slade rubbed they boy’s buttocks when he finished hitting him.

The witness also recalled an occasion when he was in such pain after being hit that he could not dress himself afterwards.

Slade allegedly pulled the boy’s underwear and trousers up, cupping the boy’s penis in his hand for about a second as he did so.

The man also told the court of an alleged incident where three boys were punished in front of all the other pupils.

The court heard the boys had written letters home asking to be taken out of the school.

After reading out the letters in front of the other pupils, Slade was alleged to have beaten them with the Jakari.

The witness, who was crying at this point, said: “They didn’t deserve that.”

Slade, 61, of Burton-on-Trent, has denied six charges of assault, five of indecent assault and four of buggery. He has admitted 15 charges of indecent assault and four charges of assault.

The trial has been adjourned until next week.

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