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Sacked Briton abused 12 boys

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MBABANE - A British man who has been working on a charitable schools project sponsored by Ubombo Sugar has been convicted as a paedophile in Britain.

Dr Edward Marsh, whose real name is Derek Slade (61) was sentenced to 21 years in prison last week Monday after being found guilty at the Ipswich Crown Court of abuse against 12 boys aged eight to 13 between 1978 and 1983. He abused the boys at a military-style boarding school, where he was the principal, in the 1980s.

When he came to Swaziland, ‘Marsh’ established a false identity. With the help of Derek Sawyer, a prominent Labour politician in Britain, the former leader of Islington Council and now chair of the London Region Courts Board. Slade and Sawyer co-founded an NGO, the International British Educational Projects (IBEP) and Slade came to Swaziland as the IBEP’s appointee and Sawyer went on to run the school board.

Both were later removed in a public notice and the reasons were not stated.

Sawyer facilitated Slade’s escape from his past by setting up educational companies in which the disgraced teacher used a fake name, CV and reference.

They were pupils at St George’s School, in Great Finborough, Suffolk.

The politician, Sawyer, has been chairman of numerous bodies involved in London’s probation service and justice system.

Sawyer, who denies any wrongdoing, helped Slade after the paedophile was first convicted of child abuse in the 80’s. Slade was found to have savagely beaten boys at Dalesdown School, in Sussex, and was jailed for three months, though the sentence was reduced on appeal to a conditional discharge.

The pair then set up the International British Educational Projects (IBEP), which allowed Slade to work with children in India and Africa under the pseudonym Dr Edward Marsh – a name taken from a child who died at the age of eight in 1955.

Sawyer said he was unaware Slade had given him false information or was using a fake passport. He said: "I have been very shocked by Derek Slade’s conviction for child abuse. I have been taken in and have been used by him."

Slade’s downfall last week resulted from simultaneous investigations on three continents.

The Ubombo Sugar Company in Swaziland, the London branch of the charity Help A Poor Child (HAPC), which briefly funded an orphanage school IBEP opened in India in 2003, and former victims of Slade’s brutal military school, all helped police untangle a complex web of evidence – about Slade and his connections with Sawyer. In 1983, after whistleblowers had brought the abuse to the attention of the BBC’s Roger Cook, Slade was forced to leave the school.

But a government inquiry proved a whitewash and Slade remained a school governor.

By then he had left four British schools after brutality and indecency allegations. Following his criminal conviction, he could never teach in Britain again.


 How they were removed from Swaziland

MBABANE – Ubombo Sugar, on discovering Sawyer’s links to Slade, removed Sawyer from its school board.

They even placed a notice in The Times of Swaziland on January17, 2009, making it clear that the parting was not amicable.

Part of the statement said the trustees had removed all directors who had been appointed by IBEP; these were Sawyer Marsh, Sawyer’s wife and Wendy Warner. The Trust also took over all of IBEP’s shareholdings in SWAZEP (Swazi Educational Projects (Pty) LTD).

A source for The Mail on Sunday said last week: "I hope Slade rots. There is no doubt to the closeness and longevity of his and Sawyer’s relationship. It is said that in support of the application for ‘Marsh’ to come into Swaziland, Sawyer/IBEP presented a very glowing CV with documents attached." Slade was arrested in England last February when he attended to a medical appointment as Edward Marsh.

At his home in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, police found huge amounts of child pornography, and his fake passport.

How ‘Marsh’ was born and Slade disappeared

MBABANE - ‘Derek Slade’ disappeared and ‘Edward Marsh’ was born – or, rather, reborn.

Police believe that Slade picked the name after trawling cemeteries until he found the grave of a boy who would have been a similar age to his own, had he lived.

He then obtained a copy of the dead boy’s birth certificate and used this to obtain a false passport in Edward Marsh’s name in 1988. The passport was used by him to travel to the United States, India, Russia and Africa. Slade also used a genuine passport in his own name to travel to India.

Meanwhile, his friend Derek Sawyer became a Labour councillor in Islington in 1982. Oddly, the ward he represented was St George’s – the same as the name of the school he and Slade founded. Derrick Pereira, UK chairman of Help A Poor Child (HAPC), in an interview with the Mail on Sunday (a British newspaper) said concerned sources in Swaziland eventually spotted HAPC’s website warning, and contacted him. The charity’s delicate wording was understandable, given the involvement of powerful Labour politicians with the project.

The African investigation established Marsh’s passport fraud from his visa details. Issued in London on September 25, 1998, it was for an Edward Marsh born on May 31, 1947, in Derby, two years before Slade was born in Southampton.

They scrutinised Slade’s fake CV as ‘Marsh’, which claimed a first class BA degree from University College, Oxford, in the Trinity term of 1969, and a BA Education from the University of Birmingham via Saltley Teachers’ Training College, on July 23, 1973.

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