East Anglian Daily Times, 2nd October 2012
by Colin Adwent
A LAW suit is set to begin on behalf of eight boys in India who claim to have been abused by the paedophile headteacher of a former Suffolk school.
Among those who are said to have given sadistic Derek Slade the principal’s job at a school for orphans and the poor in India are a former leader of Islington Borough Council and the Lord Mayor of Leicester.
Slade, was the head of St George’s School in Great Finborough, near Stowmarket, and Wicklewood, near Wymondham, Norfolk in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
He was jailed for 21 years after being convicted of sexual and physical abuse relating to 12 boys at the school, following a trial at Ipswich Crown Court in 2010.
Now Pannone Solicitors in London has been instructed by the Official Solicitor to pursue compensation claims on behalf of eight teenage boys who say they were sexually abused in Gujarat, India.
The claims are against Derek Sawyer, former leader of Islington Borough Council and former chairman of the London Regional Courts Board, Abdul Osman, the Lord Mayor of Leicester and the Help a Poor Child charity
The eight boys allege that they were sexually abused by Slade their headmaster at the Anglo-Kutchi Medium School where they boarded and supposedly received an English education.
The claim the Official Solicitor is bringing is to obtain compensation from the three defendants because it is the victims’ case that the defendants between them “ran” the school, and employed Slade.
The claim is brought on the basis that the three defendants owed the boys a duty of care and that meant keeping them safe from harm. It is alleged that this obligation was breached each time the boys were abused by Slade.
Alan Collins partner at Pannone said that the boys’ experience at the Anglo-Kutchi Medium School in India, if proved, would be similar to that suffered by the boys at St. George’s.
Mr Collins said: “We hope that anyone who was approached to donate monies to the school or assist financially in any way will come forward, as they may be able to provide information which may help the victims of Derek Slade.”
The claim comes after an investigation by the BBC’s Inside Out “Abuse of Trust” programme following Slade’s conviction.
In a statement Help a Poor Child said: “The charity has never had any involvement in the ownership or running of Anglo-Kutchi Medium School in India.
“Furthermore, the charity had no role in the appointment of Derek Slade to a tuition position at that school.
“All material facts were made known to the police prior to the BBC’s first programme about Mr Slade. It was accepted by the police that the charity had not conducted itself in any manner as to merit the slightest criticism. That remains the position to this day notwithstanding unsubstantiated allegations made by Pannone Solicitors in its quest to recover damages and costs in a civil action it is contemplating on behalf of a client.”
Mr Sawyer and Mr Osman could not be contacted for comment.