Victims suspect paedophiles at three schools were linked (26.07.12)

East Anglian Daily Times, 26th July 2012

by Colin Adwent

VICTIMS of a sadistic child sex predator believe three schools in the Stowmarket area were linked by a paedophile ring in the 1980s.

Derek Slade

Derek Slade

Mike Parker, who was one of the 12 former pupils of St George’s School in Great Finborough abused by its headteacher Derek Slade, said ex-students would be calling for a public inquiry when various investigations and court cases are concluded.

Teachers at the schools, which were within three miles of each other, have now been convicted of child sex crimes in the 1980s. The convictions and other allegations have led to more than 100 former pupils seeking damages for alleged abuse.

Over the years four teachers from the schools have been convicted of child sex offences, while two other suspects have committed suicide after being arrested.

There has been a long-running police inquiry focusing on St George’s School, which moved to Suffolk from Wicklewood in Norfolk in the early 1980s.

A separate police investigation is currently under way into allegations surrounding Oakwood School in Stowmarket, which closed in 2000.

Alan Brigden admitted sexually abusing two children

Alan Brigden admitted sexually abusing two children


In addition, papers have been filed at Cambridge County Court in a civil case involving around 70 alleged victims who claim to have been physically and sexually abused at the school between the 1970s and late 1990s.

Meanwhile, a letter before action has also been served on Suffolk County Council by Andrew Grove and Co solicitors, which represents six victims of the former Stowmarket Middle School music teacher and concert band leader Derek Cable.

Cable was sentenced to four years imprisonment in 2003 for sex offences dating back to the mid 1980s.

Mr Parker, who waived his right to anonymity, has been at the head of a campaign to uncover what went on at St George’s.

He said: “A lot of the pupils of St George’s are saying the same thing. It’s clear, without a doubt as far as we are concerned, that these were not just isolated incidents.

Alan Brigden (also known as Morton), seated to the right of St George's School headmaster Derek Slade

Alan Brigden (also known as Morton), seated to the right of St George’s School headmaster Derek Slade

“In our opinion they are linked. We believe these people knew each other.

“I think with more and more investigations, and people coming to trial, it starts to show a clear and definite link that this was rife in this area.

“This abuse was not just isolated to St George’s. Something’s been well hidden for the last 30 years.

“Once all the police inquiries are over we will be pushing for a public inquiry to look at the whole area and what was going on at the time. It’s needs to be looked at. Let’s not make the same mistakes again.”

Derek Cable

Derek Cable

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