Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Roger Cook, Derek Slade and Derek Sawyer

Last night BBC1 screened An Abuse of Trust, a documentary by Roger Cook about the headmaster Derek Slade who was imprisoned last year for the physical and sexual abuse of boys both in Britain and abroad. You can watch in on BBC iPlayer for the next six days.

The sad thing is that Cook first exposed Slade's activities in a Checkpoint programme for BBC Radio 4 as long ago as 1982. But the authorities failed to do anything about it.

Interestingly, the programme last night was concerned almost as much with Derek Sawyer, the former leader of Islington Council, as it was with Slade.

Last September the Daily Mail published an article by Eileen Fairweather on the relations between Slade and Sawyer. It has since disappeared from the paper's website, though you can find a note of clarification there.

Derek Sawyer declined to appear in An Abuse of Trust, but a BBC News report about the programme quotes some of the statement he gave its makers:
Former Labour councillor Mr Sawyer, who has been chairman of the London Courts Board and director of the youth offending charity Catch 22, said he had been led to believe Slade had legally changed his name.

He also said he was kept "in ignorance" about the violent disciplinarian's true nature.

"I was shocked by Derek Slade's conviction for sexual abuse but I am glad that justice has been done for his many victims," he said.

"Like many others, I have been taken in by Mr Slade and used by him. I knew nothing of any allegations of sexual abuse by Mr Slade, nor did I know that he should not have been put in a position of trust with children.

"I have had intermittent contact with Mr Slade over the past 40 years, which I now regret, but if I had known or believed that he was a risk to children I would obviously have had no association with him whatever."


Andrew_S_Hatton said...

Clearly the prog was about Slade but to get at Sawyer.

The interesting thing is the lack of Media coverage.

The second interesting thing is there was not a traditional Cook doorstepping of Sawyer.

Clearly Sawyer needs challenging on his definition of 'intermittent'. Cook showed a cover of a 1985 published children's book, allegedly written by Sawyer and Slade, with dedications to both their parents.

The third interesting thing is a possible Islington connection with its strong Labour party links and many child care difficulties.

Why was Slade so successful in gaining major access to children after his massive outing in Media, back in 80's. He seems to have used two names, and I thought continued to be professionally active with the Slade name and was backed in BOTH names by Sawyer.

Are some MUCH senior people being protected.

Daily Mail printed a retraction of report about Sawyer so maybe he is actively using M learn'd friends to defend his reputation.

What next. there are several victims from the Finborough days on his tale, it seems as if they need help.

This is the one highest web-pages in a search that includes Derek Slade and roger cook - I clicked because it mentioned t'other Derek as well.

As a former Social Worker who recalls vague recollection of outstanding stuff from 70's and 80's I was very interested in Programme and looked for follow up. Presumably after 30 years Cook is not about to give up, but surely he needs the sort of Investigative help that Nick Davies got when things began to be flushed out.

Maybe a Select Committee trawl back into the annals of the criminal records to examine repeat offending by child abusers?

Are any interested MPs and/or advisers following this stuff up, are any national journos, Cook apart, active?

Andrew_S_Hatton said...

Anglemoss Ltd

Anonymous said...

I run the Ravingpikey blog at word, it may interest you having a look at what is happening on this

Owen said...

You might be interested to know of a new Islington Survivors Network website, set up by survivors and whistleblowers who hope to be contributing to the Goddard Inquiry's investigations - Anyone who has any information that might indicate whether the late Derek Slade / Edward Marsh worked in London at some point can contact the website via