Colin Adwent EADT
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
A lawsuit is set to begin on behalf of eight boys in India who claim to have been abused by the paedophile headteacher of a former Norfolk and Suffolk school.
Among those named in the claim are a former leader of Islington Borough Council and the Lord Mayor of Leicester who are said to have given Derek Slade the principal’s job at a school for orphans and the poor in Gujarat.
Slade, was the head of St George’s School in Wicklewood, near Wymondham, and Great Finborough, near Stowmarket, in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
He was jailed for 21 years at Ipswich Crown Court in 2010, after being convicted of sexual and physical abuse relating to 12 boys at the school.
Now, Pannone Solicitors in London has been instructed by the Official Solicitor to pursue compensation on behalf of the teenage boys who say they were sexually abused in Gujarat.
The claims are against Derek Sawyer - a 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 boys allege they were sexually abused by Slade, the head of the Anglo-Kutchi Medium School, where they boarded and supposedly received an English education.
It is the victims’ case 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 this obligation was breached each time the boys were abused by Slade.
The legal action follows an investigation by the BBC’s Inside Out “Abuse of Trust” programme broadcast after 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.
Speaking on behalf of Slade’s victims at St George’s Mike Parker, a former pupil, said: “We, as a group, are very pleased with this development. As far as we are concerned it is brilliant news.”