Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Lawsuit involving a Lord Mayor, and a former council leader, follows headmaster's conviction

Two years ago Derek Slade was sentenced to a total of 21 years in prison for the sexual and physical abuse of boys in his care.

Yesterday the East Anglian Daily Times reported new developments:
Pannone Solicitors in London has been instructed by the Official Solicitor to pursue compensation claims on behalf of eight teenage boys who say they were sexually abused in Gujarat, India. 
The claims are against Derek Sawyer, 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 eight boys allege that they were sexually abused by Slade their headmaster at the Anglo-Kutchi Medium School where they boarded and supposedly received an English education. 
The claim the Official Solicitor is bringing is to obtain compensation from the three defendants because it is the victims’ case that 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 that this obligation was breached each time the boys were abused by Slade.
The report goes on to quote a statement from Help a Poor Child:
“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.”
It also says that Mr Sawyer and Mr Osman could not be contacted for comment.

Later. This story is also on the BBC News website.

Even later. I have blogged about this case again, giving the responses from Abdul Osman and Derek Sawyer. You can read more in the original press release from the Indian boys' solicitors Pannone.

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