Victims of paedophile headteacher welcome jail term

FORMER pupils at a Suffolk boarding school who were subjected to sexual and physical abuse during a “reign of terror” by sadistic headmaster Derek Slade more than 30 years ago have welcomed the 21-year jail sentence imposed on him yesterday.

There were emotional scenes at Ipswich Crown Court as about a dozen of 61-year-old Slade’s victims hugged each other and applauded as they watched him being led away to begin his sentence.

Speaking on behalf of the victims, many of whom are now in their 30s and had their childhoods ruined by Slade, Detetective Inspector Adrian Randall said they were “really pleased” with the 21-year sentence and felt justice had been done.

He said they were relieved the case was over and they could now get on with the rest of their lives and were also glad that the abuse they had suffered had been recognised.

Slade, who ran St George’s School at Great Finborough, near Stowmarket was sentenced for more than 50 offences – including child sex abuse, beatings and possession of child porn.

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Jailing him, Judge Peter Fenn said that although many former pupils of St George’s received a good education and had happy memories of their school days, the memories of his 12 victims were anything but that.

“Their memories of their school days are of brutal violence experienced by them at your hands,” he told Slade.

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He said that one of the boys who was beaten by Slade recalled the incident being audio-taped and police officers who searched Slade’s home in Burton-on Trent, Staffordshire, found tapes containing the sound of boys being beaten.

They also discovered files kept by Slade on individual boys which included school photographs of them and essays he had forced them to write as part of his punishment regime on the subject of “whackings I have had.”

Judge Fenn also ordered Slade to sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register and made him the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, restricting his future contact with children and computers

Slade had admitted 15 offences of indecent assault and five assaults on boys as well as 17 child pornography offences and possession of a fake passport which he had obtained using the name of a dead child.

He had denied further offences of assault and indecency but was convicted by a jury after a trial of three offences of buggery, four indecent assaults and six charges of assault causing actual bodily harm on 12 boys aged from eight to 13 between 1978 and 1983.

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

Prosecution counsel Andrew Thompson said police officers had found 4,486 indecent images of children on computer equipment belonging to Slade.

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