Former pupils take legal action for years of abuse

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A GROUP of ex-pupils are taking legal action after suffering years of sexual and physical abuse at a former Great Finborough school during the 1970s and 1980s.

Thirty-five ex-pupils from St George’s School are claiming damages following the conviction of the school’s former headteacher, Derek Slade.

Slade, 62, was jailed for 21 years in September 2010 by Ipswich Crown Court for abusing 12 boys at the school. But since the trial more pupils have come forward and made further allegations of abuse.

Three top law firms are taking action on behalf of the ex-pupils against Anglemoss Ltd, in Great Finborough, which ran the school at the time.

Peter Garsden, from Cheadle Hulme-based law firm Abney Garsden McDonald, which is representing a number of the former pupils, said: “We are preparing all our cases, and liaising with our clients.

“At the moment the insurers who are meant to have covered the school at the time of the abuse are trying to avoid liability.

“Our progress has been stalled whilst we wait to hear of the attitude of the school’s insurers, and their attitude to the case on liability.

“We are hoping to issue legal proceedings soon.”

The insurance company responsible for Anglemoss Ltd at the time, believed to be Prudential PLC – which no longer deals with general insurance – has been made aware of the claims.

One of the victims involved in the claim said: “We all decided to take action because we feel the company should be punished.

“There are lessons to be learned for all those other schools out there.”

Slade, of Burton-on-Trent, was convicted of a number of offences, including sexual assault, making indecent images of children, and having a false passport.

l Last month, lawyers acting on behalf of 15 former pupils of Oakwood School for Boys, in Stowmarket, announced they would be taking legal action over allegations of abuse during the 1970s.

The two schools and cases are not connected.