Headmaster was a “monster”, court told

A FORMER pupil at a Suffolk school has told a court he “crawled like an animal” across a room after being subjected to a violent attack by the headmaster.

At Derek Slade’s trial at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, the witness, who went to the former St George’s School in Great Finborough, near Stowmarket, as a boarder in 1981 when he was ten, wept as recalled how he was summoned to Slade’s office within 72 hours of arriving at the school and beaten with a cane.

Slade, 61, has denied six charges of assault causing actual bodily harm, five of indecent assault on a male and four of buggery.

He has admitted 15 charges of indecent assault and four of assault causing actual bodily harm.

The witness told the jury: “He (Slade) picked up a cane from his desk and I remember looking back at the door which was closed. He said, ’Do you know what this is for?’ and I said ‘No’”

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The witness said he then felt a “searing, roaring pain” as he was slapped on the side of his face, causing him to fall to the ground.

“I’d never felt anything like it. I was lying on the floor in a heap in front of this man’s desk.

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“He starts shouting at me. He’d caught the side of my face and my ear was ringing. The pain was unbelievable.

“He said ‘Get up’ and dragged me up by my jumper,” said the witness in a recorded police interview played to the court.

The witness claimed Slade then knocked him to the floor again and dragged him back on to his feet before pulling down his shorts and underwear and caning him over a chair.

He described screaming in pain while trying to work out what he had done wrong and then crawling “like an animal” across the room trying to find somewhere to hide.

He described Slade as a “monster” and said he looked like “some sort of madman.”

“When you looked in his eyes there was evil,” he said. He claimed Slade, who now lives in Burton-on-Trent, had then caned him about seven more times before sitting him on his knee and cuddling him while rubbing his bottom and legs.

The witness described how Slade had then handed him a yellow pouch and said he could leave but as he walked away Slade had hit him again causing the inside of his mouth to bleed. He claimed that Slade had then reprimanded him for not saying “thank you.”

It has been alleged that Slade beat and sexually abused young boys in his care in a “reign of terror” between 1978 and 1983.

The trial continues.

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