Derek Slade – conviction results in numerous compensation claims

February 23rd, 2011

We are currently acting 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 taught 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 occasion 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 Dalesdown 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 Conviction 

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 our specialist abuse team at Verisona Law.