Paedophile Suffolk headteacher Derek Slade dies during jail term

Derek Slade

Derek Slade - Credit: Archant

Paedophile headteacher Derek Slade who was serving 21 years in prison for abusing boys at a Suffolk school has died.

St George's School

St George's School - Credit: Archant

Slade, who was aged 66, was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court in September 2010.

He had been being convicted following a trial of a catalogue of abuse on 12 pupils at St George’s School in Great Finborough and the school’s previous location at Wicklewood, Norfolk during the 1970s and 1980s.

Slade had been serving his jail term in Norwich prison. However, he had been in poor health for some time and died at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital yesterday afternoon.

Slade was convicted more than 50 offences - including child sex abuse, beatings, and child pornography.

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Sentencing him at Ipswich Crown Court Judge Peter Fenn said: “Many of those boys whose stories we heard went on to become men whose lives were seriously damaged.”

Slade was found guilty, following a trial spanning more than five weeks, of three counts of buggery, four indecent assaults and, six charges of actual bodily harm on 12 boys aged from eight and 13, between 1978 and 1983.

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Slade was acquitted of a further buggery charge and another offence of indecent assault.

In a joint statement Slade’s victims said: “Derek Slade stole our childhoods. What should have been the happiest years of our lives were turned into the most fearful.”

Jurors heard that Slade ran St George’s private school, which was initially based in Wicklewood, Norfolk, then moved to Great Finborough in 1980.

Prosecutors said Slade hit boys with a slipper, a cane, a jokari bat, or his bare hand.

Before his trial, Slade, of Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, admitted 15 indecent assaults and five assaults on boys, as well as 17 child pornography offences and having a false passport. He denied the other allegations of assault and indecent assault.

Confirming Slade’s death a Prison Service spokesman said: “HMP Norwich prisoner Derek Slade was pronounced dead at 2.57pm on Wednesday March 2, at an outside hospital.

“As with all deaths in custody there will be an investigation by the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.”

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