Stowmarket: Child abuse victims urge Attorney General to appeal pervert teacher’s sentence
FORMER pupils of a Suffolk school at the centre of a child sex abuse scandal are urging the Attorney General to challenge the sentence given a paedophile teacher.
Victims of Derek Slade, the former head of St George’s School, which was based at Great Finborough near Stowmarket, are annoyed at the five-year jail term given to maths teacher Alan Brigden, claiming it should have been longer.
The 67-year-old, who was known as Alan Morton when he taught at the school while it was based at Wicklewood in Norfolk, was imprisoned at Ipswich Crown Court earlier this month after admitting 14 child sex offences.
Slade was the principal at both locations. He was jailed for 21 years in 2010 for more than 50 offences including a catalogue of sexual and physical abuse on pupils.
One of Slade’s victims said he and others are appalled at what they considered to be the lenient sentence given to Brigden.
Mike Parker, who has waived his right to anonymity, said: “I would estimate the Attorney General received about 20 e-mails on the day of Brigden’s sentencing. Since then he has received more.
“The consensus is that we feel his sentence was unduly lenient taking into consideration everything this man did.
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“I feel five years is derisory. The punishment certainly doesn’t fit the crime as far as I am concerned.”
Mr Parker, who lives in the north-east, added he was at a loss to see why Brigden, a Dutch national, is being allowed to serve his time in a Netherlands’ prison, instead of a British one.
Attorney General Domenic Grieve is being asked to appeal the sentence at the High Court in a bid to lengthen Brigden’s term of imprisonment.
A spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office said: “I can confirm that the Attorney General’s office has received a number of complaints on the sentence handed to Alan Brigden.
“We have asked the Crown Prosecution Service for more information on this case, so that one of the Law Officers can decide whether the sentence should be referred to the Court of Appeal for review.”
At the time of Brigden’s offences in 1977 and 1980 he was teaching at a boys’ boarding school in Sussex and then at the former St George’s School, in Norfolk.
Brigden, of Amsterdam, admitted four offences of assault with intent to commit serious sexual assault, four offences of indecency with a boy under the age of 14 and six offences of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 14.
At his sentencing, Judge Rupert Overbury described the offences as a gross breach of trust.