Derek Slade - conviction results in numerous compensation claims

We currently act for a number of former pupils who attended Duncan Hall School and St George’s School in the 1970’s and 1980’s. There are allegations made by former pupils of all schools of both physical and sexual abuse administered by Derek Slade and other members of staff. Slade was convicted at Ipswich Crown Court in 2010 of physically and sexually abusing pupils, and sentenced to twenty-one years’ imprisonment. Slade was Oxford educated and held no teaching qualifications, some believe that he was a very clever and manipulative man. We currently have information on the following schools and would be interested in speaking to former pupils: Dragon School We have very little information on Dragon School. This is where Slade first started his teaching career in 1974 and it is alleged he left due to there being an unacceptance of the use of the cane whilst he tought latin. Duncan Hall School  Derek Slade began teaching at Duncan Hall School in 1974/75. This is where he first began to sexually and physically abuse boys. It would appear that he perfected his ‘art’ of doing so and this allowed him to continue to abuse boys further in to his career. At Duncan Hall school it is alleged Slade held ‘officials’, which were fights organised between two boys and observed by others. Slade would be the referee and would advocate the violence. Prefects were encouraged to bully the younger children. They would have to provide Slade with a name at the end of every day to be given a “whack”. Slade would administer corporal punishment with the slipper, the cane or a Jokari bat. At times the boy to be beaten would have to choose the implement that he wished to be beaten with. Slade left in 1977 to set up and run his own private boarding school.  St George’s School Slade was Head Master of St George’s School in both its Wicklewood and Gt Finborough guise. It was set up using a company, Anglemoss, in 1977/1978 and was a military boarding school. Slade was a director along with four other directors. Initially the school had 20 pupils in 1977/78, but this grew to an average of 350 pupils by 1983. The school was primarily based for the children of those in the armed forces.  The victims of Slade were as young as 8. He used them for 'sexual exploitation' and he made boys take off their underpants before beating them with the cane, slipper or Jokari bat. hese beatings would leave heavy bruising and would at times draw blood. It is alleged that he would cuddle the victims and then rub their bare buttocks and genitals for sexual gratification, all on the pretence of comforting them. Slade had what was known as a ‘reign of terror’. It was the product of his belief in strong corporal punishment. He kept a handwritten journal recording all the beatings he had unleashed (this handbook features in an IN news broadcast in 1982). His records were all noted in ancient greek and dictated the boy’s name and when and how the boy was beaten. here was a “stars and stripes” disciplinary system in place at St George’s where pupils got stars for good behaviour and stripes for breaking rules. Boys receiving six or more stripes in a week would be called to Slades office for beatings, depending on their age, and severity of their perceived misdemeanours. He would on occassion audio record these beatings and would write explicit stories based upon the sexual abuse. He would also make the boys write essays on the ‘whackings I have had’. He organised ‘midnight feasts’, dinner parties at his house in the school grounds for Slade’s male friends, where the boys were sexually abused. He would select five boys as ‘waiters’ and would dress them in their school uniforms to attend dinners in his house which was located directly next to the School. After dinner each male would select a boy from that evening and take them to a room where they would be sexually abused. Dalesdown Preparatory School through whistle-blowing Slade was investigated in 1983, and as a result of these investigations he resigned from St. George’s and moved to Dalesdown Preparatory School in Sussex. In 1986, Slade was convicted of savagely beating boys at Dalesdown Preparatory School. He was jailed for three months at hichester rown ourt. He appealed and his sentence was reduced to a conditional discharge. hroughout his employment here it would seem that he continued to abuse boys in the way that he had done in his last two schools. International British Educational Projects  In the course of investigations we know that this after Slade left alesdown he did not end his teaching career. Slade escaped justice for years using an alias of a deceased child – Edward Marsh – a name taken from a child who died aged 8 in 1955. He worked using this name on International British Educational Projects in India and Africa. Trial and onviction Former pupils came forward some 2 years ago about the abuse they suffered at the hands of Slade through the popular social networking website, Facebook. This led to a police investigation and his primary downfall were the extensive records of the beatings that he held in his possession, which corroborated the allegations being made. Before his six-week trial, Slade offered to plead guilty to the indecency, assault and child pornography charges. At his trial, Slade admitted 15 offences of indecent assault and five of actual bodily harm, and denied but was found guilty of six additional offences of assault, four indecent assaults and three serious sexual assaults. They were sample offences, many more are suspected, but all in relation to his time at St George’s School. Slade also pleaded guilty to 16 charges of making indecent images of children, possession of almost 4,500 indecent images of children and being in possession of a false passport. Slade was convicted in September 2010 and imprisoned for 21 years for the offences outlined above. To discuss this blog please contact Charles Derham or on O23 9249 2472.


Lisa has specialised in childhood abuse and social care negligence for the last 8 years and has extensive experience in relation to civil abuse litigation, CICA claim maximisation and Redress Scheme claims. She offers a sympathetic and professional approach to her clients’ problems and advises on funding options (including insurance and Conditional Fee Agreements.)

Since 2018 she has travelled around the country to see clients who were failed by Lambeth Council during their childhood in order to collate evidence for submission to the Lambeth Children’s Home Compensation Scheme. Lisa’s style of working is tailored to providing emotional support whilst applying the specialist legal expertise required to ensure her client’s have the best evidence for making a successful claim.

Lisa is able to access key psychiatric and social care experts to obtain evidence and therapy recommendations for clients. She can direct clients to treatment providers if required. Often such treatment costs can be claimed as part of the compensation process. This is a priority to ensure her clients have the best opportunity to make positive steps into the future. Lisa excels in applying questions to psychiatric experts to clarify and ensure they have a deeper understanding of the case issues where required. She is also experienced in negotiation to maximise outcome according to specific scheme terms.

For the last year and half, Lisa has been leading the firm’s participation in the National Abuse Inquiry specifically relating to the IICSA Lambeth investigation acting on behalf of 6 core participants. Such work involved the preparation of core participant applications, section 40 funding applications, detailed consideration of social care record evidence, witness statements preparation, attending preliminary hearings for consideration on the extent of other key party involvement, detailed work on documentary disclosure evidence from the council, police and other core participants to identify deep seated failings within the past care and policing systems, cross referencing, and work with counsel on composing Rule 10 questioning of corporate and police witnesses giving evidence at the IICSA Lambeth hearing. Lisa also accompanied a key core participant giving evidence to the IICSA hearing providing support and understanding to ensure her client’s evidence was sensitively taken into account when the panel make recommendations to protect children in the future. Questions were raised on the effectiveness of the current Serious Case Review system and how this has been operating within police and council’s across the country, something which has also been identified whilst working on specific civil cases. The hope is that improvements in the child protection mechanisms can ensure the safety of children in future.

Lisa also specialises in CICA claims, an area of work which has increased significantly following the lifting of the pre 1979 same home abuse rule which facilitated many victims being able to finally achieve justice relating to serious childhood abuse.

Lisa also has extensive particular experience in running civil claims relating to foster carer abuse, abuse in private/public/approved school institutions, church abuse, and abuse linked to gymnastics.

Her extensive knowledge of the Civil Procedure Rules, skills in evidence gathering and analysis of liability and causation, and experience in risk assessment and settlement negotiation make her a valuable asset to clients and colleagues alike.

Lisa has more than 20 years’ experience of dealing with Personal Injury matters ranging from road traffic accidents to workplace injury and liability.

Lisa is fluent in German and Persian. She also has experience in Civil Litigation regarding Debt Recovery, Breach of Contract, and Insolvency Law

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"I would like to express my profound heartfelt gratitude to Lisa Gafarov for all her hard work and understanding when representing me. She fought passionately for my case for two years.

Within this time, never once did I feel it was about the money for her. She was very considerate and dealt with many personal matters in a caring and professional way. It was a very sensitive case but she put in a lot of hard work and went the extra mile each time. Her wide range of expertise was indispensable during this difficult time. Because of this I trusted all her advice and as a result, this took a lot of pressure off of me.

She managed to reach a very amicable conclusion between the defendants and myself. You don’t know how much your passion impacts the lives of others. For this I am forever grateful. I would recommend your firm a hundred times over."
Anonymous, April 2019

Lisa studied ‘Contract Law, European Law and Employment Law’ as part of her degree in BA (Hons) Business Administration. She has also studied other business subjects, including accounting.

Having completed her degree, Lisa started work for Verisona Law in November 1999 in the Personal Injury department as a Trainee Litigation Clerk and since then has developed extensive skills in relation to personal injury litigation and case preparation.

  • Road traffic accidents
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  • Slip and trip claims
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  • Industrial disease claims
  • Work related upper limb disorder claims
  • Clinical negligence, including amputation claims
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  • Abuse claims

"Thank you for all your much appreciated hard work. I will truly never forget your kindness towards me. Your patience, respect and understanding at all times was beyond words. The sincere compassion shown meant more to me than words could ever express. This firm will forever hold a special place in my heart."


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