Victim relives horrific abuse
DEREK Slade’s wicked abuse of children in his care was revealed in December 2008 when one of the boys he sexually molested came forward to report what had happened.
For almost 30 years, the victim had banished the memories from his mind, even if he had been living with their legacy.
However, the trauma that had been blotted out came back to haunt him with a vengeance.
Now 39 years old, he said: “I woke up screaming in the middle of the night. I had vivid nightmares.
“I had only just started using a computer and looked around for St George’s School. It was suggested I went on Facebook. I came across a couple of blogs and very quickly realised that although I knew what I knew, there was a lot more going on with a lot more people, and certain people were leaving almost cryptic messages about their experiences at the school.
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“I firmly believed Slade would be dead. To my astonishment he was alive and kicking in India.”
Through the man contacting others and discovering the scale of the abuse, Slade’s crimes were brought to the attention of the police.
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The former pupil became a victim of indecent assault, buggery and actual bodily harm by Slade shortly after he arrived at St George’s school at the age of 10.
He said: “I was completely horrified. Now I can look back and can see how it was done, how clever it was. We were groomed in such a manner that we had no choice. We were broken, built back up, broken and built back up some more. This happened quickly over a couple of weeks to a point where home life with parents and siblings was completely destroyed and the only place we had was the school.
“You were continuously looking for approval. You actually ended up seeking out that approval.
“At 10, I didn’t have a clue what girls and boys get up to. I was more interested in climbing trees and playing cowboys and indians.
“I was groomed first – kicked all over by Slade within 72 hours of being at the school. He used older children to start the grooming process of sex. I was introduced to things such as oral sex, masturbation and it escalated.”
The prospect of “midnight feasts” were used as a way of helping to lure boys to Slade’s house in the grounds of St George’s .
The victim said: “There were whispers saying they were really good. It was almost like a treat, and eventually I was chosen to go to one.
“We were told to dress in our Sunday best, white polo neck jumper, grey shorts, and our polished shoes. Five children met at his office and he would give us a small packet of sweets and we would be walked across to the house in silence.”
When they arrived they discovered there were four other men, along with Slade, waiting for them.
The victim said: “At the house I just followed what they were doing. The kids were taken off to different areas one by one by the adults. This carried on over a period of possibly five weeks during each weekend, or fortnightly over 10 weeks.
“We were groomed to the point where he could have that complete control and power over everybody.”
The horrendous abuse culminated in him taking out his frustrations on the school at the end of his time at St George’s.
The man said: “We went on a rampage and tore the school apart.”
After leaving the school, although it was the end of one part of his nightmare, the effects of what had happened manifested themselves in other ways as the boy grew into an adult.
He became claustrophobic, turned to petty crime and tried to commit suicide several times during the years that followed.
The man said: “I never spoke about it again. As time went on my mind wouldn’t allow me to. My life started there. My life was just a bloody mess, in and out of trouble – just getting worse and worse until I met my wife.”
Despite settling down, the man finally discovered he could not escape the awful images of what he experienced as a boy that eventually came to him in his nightmares.
“In 2008 I woke up screaming, got out of bed and told my wife not to touch me. I went to my office, dug out a roll of paper and wrote for several hours until I finished writing. I gathered them up, put them in a locked drawer, and that’s when the investigation started.”
Time has not dimmed the man’s opinion of Slade.
He said: “Slade can’t hurt me any longer. He’s nothing but filth.”