Pervert tried to disguise abuse
SPECIALIST translators were used to help catch paedophile headteacher Derek Slade after he disguised accounts of pupils’ beatings by writing them in Greek, it has emerged.
Slade, the former head of St George’s School in Great Finborough, near Stowmarket, is due to be sentenced today at Ipswich Crown Court for a catalogue of child abuse.
The 61-year-old is guilty of 51 offences including, buggery, indecent assault, child pornography, actual bodily harm and having a false passport.
The devious way Slade – who graduated with double classic honours from Oxford - camouflaged the brutality he inflicted on the boys in his care between 1978 and 1983 has now been revealed. Pupils received horrendous beatings with a cane, a jokari bat, or the sole of a slipper.
Prosecuting lawyer John Fenn, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Mr Slade was meticulous and had kept essays that the victims had been forced to write as part of their punishments.
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“He also kept records of what he had done to the boys and detailed the beatings he had inflicted on them.
“These records had been disguised in a form of Greek, but we were able to translate them, and this formed part of evidence in the case against him.
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“We are very pleased this case has reached a successful conclusion, which is in part a tribute to the dedicated and professional approach of the police team. But, it also reflects the bravery that the victims have shown in coming forward, which is amazing.
“What they must have gone through at the time is unimaginable, and to relive these acts through the course of a trial is truly commendable.”
Thirteen former pupils of St George’s, which Slade oversaw in Wicklewood, near Wymondham, Norfolk, before moving to Suffolk, came forward with allegations. Twelve had their cases proven.
After Slade was convicted of the final 13 offences last Friday, senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Adrian Randall said: “While Slade may have committed these offences thirty years ago, for the victims their pain remains very real and several have had to relive their ordeals once more to ensure Slade was brought to justice.
“Many of these people never had a voice as a child and they have had to wait some 28 years in order to see justice prevail.
“In 25 years police experience, many spent in a child protection, I have not previously seen such a gross breach of trust.
“He (Slade) then went on to create a false identity for himself, complete with a passport fraudulently obtained in the name of a deceased person.
“In my view he remains a risk to children.”
In a statement Slade’s victims said: “Our time at St George’s has had a profound effect on our lives. Derek Slade created a culture of fear and suffering where casual violence and institutionalised brutality was enforced.”
Slade, of Burton-on-Trent, pleaded guilty to 16 charges of making indecent images of children, possession of al-most 4,500 indecent images of children, and being in possession of a false passport in May. He admitted 15 of-fences of indecent assault and five assaults in July and August,
Slade was found guilty of additional offences of three counts of buggery, four indecent assaults, and six actual bodily harms last Friday.