Derek Slade - Further Developments
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Victims of abuse in the Catholic church have argued for many years that the church has systematically covered up child abuse. The cover up has taken many forms: failure to report allegations to the police; using canon law rules to frustrate criminal investigations; telling victims that any investigation risks putting the victims' name into the public domain; moving paedophile priests to different parishes to hush up scandal. All these things have been proven in individual cases, but proving a systematic cover up at the highest levels of the church has been more difficult- the Catholic church is an incredibly secretive organisation and many of its most important internal documents remain buried in Vatican archives, hidden from public scrutiny.
As we recently reported on this blog, Derek Slade, a former boarding school headteacher, has been jailed for 21 years for sexually and physically abusing boys at schools in Wicklewood, Norfolk and Great Finborough, Suffolk at St Georges School.
This saga has taken a further twist with allegations in the Daily Mail that Slade 'escaped police for years using an alias with the knowledge of a politician at the heart of Britain's justice system'.
The report alleges that Derek Sawyer, a former leader of Islington Council and now head of the London Region Courts Board, helped Slade maintain a fake identity after Slade was first convicted of abuse in the 1980s. It also states that Sawyer and Slade jointly set up a limited company - International British Educational Projects - that allowed Slade to work with vulnerable children under his false name and with a fake CV.
Sawyer took over the leadership of Islington Council in 1992. The Council was the subject of much criticism over its handling of a paedophile scandal in the 1980s.
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