Suffolk

Jailed sex abuse headmaster Derek Slade dies

Derek Slade Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Derek Slade abused boys between 1978 and 1983 at schools in Norfolk and Suffolk

A former boarding school headmaster serving a 21-year jail sentence for sexually abusing boys has died.

Derek Slade was jailed in 2010 for a string of offences against 12 boys aged between eight and 13.

Oxford-educated Slade, who had no teaching qualifications, committed the attacks at private schools in Norfolk and Suffolk, between 1978 and 1983.

A Roger Cook documentary for the BBC revealed claims that Slade, 66, had also abused children in India.

'Culture of fear'

In September 2010, Ipswich Crown Court found Slade guilty of abusing boys at private schools in Wicklewood, Norfolk, and Great Finborough in Suffolk.

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In May that year, the paedophile admitted 16 charges of making indecent images of children and possession of almost 4,500 indecent images of children.

Slade also admitted 20 offences of indecent assault and assault and was given a 21-year sentence.

Image caption One of his victims said Slade, pictured here in his younger days, "stole childhoods"
Image caption Derek Slade, back in the 1980s, revealing a cane at the Suffolk school

After the case, one of his victims said: "Derek Slade created a culture of fear and suffering where casual violence and institutionalised brutality was enforced, tolerated and later accepted by everyone, pupils and staff alike.

"He stole our childhoods. What should have been the happiest years of our lives were turned into the most fearful."

Another former pupil Simon Wilshire was not sexually abused by Slade, but described the head teacher as "experienced in the art of beating".

Mr Wilshire said: "We were called into his bedroom one at a time to be whacked on the bare backside.

"We would be beaten at least every week, pretty much at Slade's whim - it was relentless."

Eight boys

Following the case, a six-month investigation by journalist Roger Cook for the BBC's Inside Out programme uncovered further allegations of abuse in India.

After his time at Finborough, Slade had become involved in funding and building the Anglo-Kutchi Medium School in Gujarat, in 2001, and was later headmaster.

Cook revealed eight teenage boys alleged Slade had sexually abused them, and that lawyers had been instructed to pursue claims on their behalf in 2012.

A Ministry of Justice Statement said: "HMP Norwich prisoner Derek Slade was pronounced dead at 2.57pm on Wednesday 2 March 2016 at an outside hospital.

"As with all deaths in custody there will be an investigation by the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman."

Image caption The school, in Gujarat opened in 2001, and Slade's name can clearly be seen on the banner above the building

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