Former St George's School teacher appeals extradition from France over child sex abuse allegations
PUBLISHED: 09:56 09 April 2015 | UPDATED: 09:56 09 April 2015
Detectives are still battling to extradite a former Suffolk teacher back to England to face child sex abuse allegations.
The man who taught at the former St George’s School in Great Finborough, near Stowmarket, has been fighting to remain in France.
It is understood officers working the long-running investigation into the privately-owned school have been successful in getting a French court to rule in their favour.
However, the ex-teacher is a French national and has now lodged an appeal in a last-ditch attempt to avoid being brought to Suffolk to face being charged.
It is believed detectives working on the inquiry – codenamed Operation Racecourse – have been trying to extradite the man since 2012. Suffolk Constabulary declined to comment specifically about the extradition proceedings.
However, Lucy Sheehan, a spokeswoman for the force, said: “Investigations into allegations of sexual abuse at St George’s School, Great Finborough, in the 1980s, continue.”
St George’s has been at the centre of an ongoing police investigation since 2009.
Before relocating to Suffolk after the summer term of 1980, the school was based at Wicklewood, near Wymondham, Norfolk. The man fighting extradition is understood to have worked at both locations.
In 2010, St George’s former headteacher Derek Slade was jailed for a total of 21 years by Ipswich Crown Court.
The then 61-year-old was convicted of abusing 12 boys who were pupils at the school. They were aged eight to 13 when the abuse took place between 1978-83.
Slade, who was living in Burton-on-Trent at the time of his arrest, admitted 15 indecent assaults and five assaults on boys, along with 17 child porn offences involving 4,486 indecent images. He also admitted possessing a false passport.
At his trial he was convicted of three offences of buggery, four other indecent assaults and six further charges of actual bodily harm.
In 2012 another teacher, Alan Brigden, was jailed for five years after being convicted of sex assaults at St George’s, when it was based in Norfolk. Suffolk officers had successfully applied for his extradition from Holland, where he had been living.
The 67-year-old, who was known as Alan Morton when he taught at the school while it was based at Wicklewood, admitted 14 child sex offences when he appeared at Ipswich Crown Court.
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.
Another former teacher, Alan Williams, was found dead at his Stowmarket home after being arrested on abuse allegations.
St George’s School and Wicklewood were private schools, which primarily catered for the children of service personnel.