Great Finborough: Paedophile former headteacher Derek Slade to be subject of BBC documentary

GREAT FINBOROUGH: Paedophile former Suffolk headteacher Derek Slade is due to be the subject of a hard-hitting BBC 1 documentary.

Slade, who was principal of the former St George’s School near Stowmarket was imprisoned for 21 years after being convicted of 50 offences.

Among the 62-year-old’s convictions were sex assaults on pupils dating back to the 1970s and 80s including buggery and indecent assaults. He also committed actual body harm and admitted 17 offences relating to child pornography, as well as one of possessing a false passport.

Slade’s reign of terror at St George’s, and its earlier incarnation at Wicklewood, near Wymondham, in Norfolk, was originally exposed by investigative reporter Roger Cook.

In the early 1980s Cook lifted the lid on the physical abuse suffered by pupils who lived under the strict regime of corporal punishment laid down by Slade.

The expose on the BBC Radio 4 programme Checkpoint led to national inquiries into the allegations about Slade.

Following Slade’s imprisonment last September Cook has made a follow-up documentary for Inside Out entitled Abuse of Trust. It is due to air at 10.35pm next Tuesday.

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Slade, formerly of Burton-upon-Trent, was originally exonerated of wrongdoing at an official inquiry but he was later convicted and jailed for assaulting a pupil at a school in Sussex. His sentence was overturned on appeal.

He then went overseas to set up schools in impoverished areas, leading to suspicions of further abuse.

Abuse of Trust follows his career, investigating how a man with such an appalling record was able to deceive charities and businesses and work with vulnerable children.

One of Slade’s victims from St George’s has been interviewed for the programme and has said he will waive his anonymity. The man, who asked not to be named until the programme aired, said: “I was sick of hiding. The shame belongs to him and not to me. Why should I hide?

“I was absolutely sick of being made to feel I am a victim, like I was when I was ten. I won’t hide in the shadows.”

Suffolk police are still continuing their inquiry into allegations about St George’s. A week ago it emerged 35 ex-pupils are taking legal action against Anglemoss Ltd, in Great Finborough, the company which ran it, claiming sexual and physical abuse.