BBC, August 2011
BBC, August 2011
A former teacher is fighting an extradition battle with Suffolk detectives trying to bring him back to England over child sex abuse allegations.
The accusations date back more than 30 years and relate to the former St George’s School, near Stowmarket.
The ex-teacher involved is now based in France, which has meant a lengthy court process has ensued in a bid for him to return to Suffolk.
St George’s, which was in Great Finborough, has been at the centre of an ongoing police investigation since 2009. Since then officers have been investigating complaints by former pupils after setting up an inquiry codenamed Operation Racecourse.
Before relocating to Suffolk after the summer term of 1980, the school was based at Wicklewood, near Wymondham in Norfolk. The man fighting extradition is understood to have worked at both locations.
In 2010 St George’s former headteacher Derek Slade was jailed for a total of 21 years by Ipswich Crown Court.
The then 61-year was convicted of abusing 12 boys who were pupils at the school. They were aged eight to 13 when the abuse took place between 1978-83.
Slade, who was living in Burton-on-Trent at the time of his arrest, admitted 15 indecent assaults and five assaults on boys, along with 17 child porn offences involving 4,486 indecent images. He also admitted possessing a false passport. At his trial he was convicted of three offences of buggery, four other indecent assaults and six further charges of actual bodily harm.
Since his conviction Suffolk detectives have continued to investigate other allegations of sexual abuse.
As a result of their enquiries officers have been seeking to bring a man back from the continent. However, the former teacher has been fighting extradition for at least two years, it has emerged. He is understood to be a French national.
It is also understood there have been hearings before courts in France in an attempt to bring him back to Suffolk. However, the ongoing application made on behalf of Suffolk Constabulary has yet to come to a conclusion, as the man continues to resist extradition.
St George’s School and Wicklewood were private schools, which primarily catered for the children of service personnel.
Suffolk Constabulary declined to comment in relation to the extradition proceedings.
However, Lisa McGrann, a spokeswoman for the force, said: “Our enquiries in relation to alleged abuse at the former St George’s School in Great Finborough are ongoing.”
East Anglian Daily Times, 11th July 2012
by Colin Adwent
Alan Brigden twice tried to take his life in a bid to evade justice. On the first occasion he was discovered by a neighbour after taking an overdose of tablets.
Then, as he was recovering, Brigden – who was known as Alan Morton when he taught Maths at St George’s – left hospital and tried to drown himself.
It can also be revealed that more than 20 years ago Brigden was investigated on suspicion of child sex abuse, but the Dutch authorities did not pursue the case.
At his first hearing before Ipswich magistrates following his extradition prosecutor Lorraine Irwin told the court: “Between arrest and extradition Netherlands granted conditional bail to the defendant.
“However, on October 25 (2010), come the extradition hearing, the defendant didn’t appear. It took police and prosecutors three days to locate the defendant.
“What happened to the defendant during that period was he attempted suicide, by taking an overdose of tablets. He was discovered by a neighbour and was taken to hospital.
“He walked out of hospital without permission or the knowledge of staff and jumped into a nearby lake. He was recovered from the lake and put back into medical care.”
Brigden had been living in Holland since 1990.
In 2004 he became a Dutch national and had a Dutch passport at the time of his arrest. Fighting an application for bail Miss Irwin added: “When arrested, his home address was searched and relevant photo images were found. A child’s underwear with name tape of one of the victims in this case was found at his (Brigden’s) address.
“Because of the number of images and literature found at the address the Crown says this defendant has a relevant interest in young children and therefore there is a danger that if granted bail he would re-offend.”
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.
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.
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.
“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.”