Abuse suspect is found dead

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A TEACHER arrested in connection with an investigation into 1980s sex assaults at a former school in Great Finborough has been found dead at his home in Stowmarket.

The body of Alan Williams was found at his home in Stowupland Street last Friday, just days after police extended his bail.

Mr Williams, 59, was arrested in February on suspicion of a number of indecent and sexual assaults on pupils at the former St George’s School during the 1980s.

At the time of his arrest he was working as director of music at Ashfold School, in Buckinghamshire.

Mr Williams’ death is not being treated as suspicious and an inquest will be opened in due course.

Mr Williams was arrested following a long-term police investigation into allegations of abuse at the school.

In September 2010, the school’s former headmaster, 61-year-old Derek Slade, was jailed for 21 years after being convicted of sexual and indecent assault, assault causing actual bodily harm, and making and possession of indecent images.

Slade ran the school between 1978 and 1983, in which time he assaulted 12 boys. He was convicted after a number of his victims came forward to report the abuse they suffered at the school.

Suffolk Police have not officially named the deceased man as Mr Williams but have confirmed that they were called to a house in Stowupland Street.

A police spokeswoman said: “Police were called to Stowupland Street in Stowmarket at 10.43am on Friday, June 10, by a woman concerned for the welfare of a family member who she had been unable to contact.

“Officers forced entry to a house and a 59-year-old man was found deceased.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious and the coroner has been informed.”

A spokeswoman for Ashfold School said: “Suffolk Police informed us last Friday (June 10) that Alan Williams, the former director of music at Ashfold School had died.

“Mr Williams was suspended on February 6 2011 after being arrested by Suffolk Police in connection with an ongoing historic criminal investigation.

“Despite extensive inquiries the police have confirmed again to us that none of the allegations relate to Ashfold School or any of its current or former pupils.”

The current Finborough School is not connected to St George’s School – although it occupies the same grounds – and is not connected to the investigation.