A boarding school headmaster was facing jail last night after being convicted of abusing boys in his care.
Derek Slade, 61, picked out pupils as young as eight for 'sexual exploitation' and beat them with a cane, slipper or table tennis bat.
The self-confessed paedophile also held 'midnight feasts' where he would sexually abuse the boys.
Derek Slade, then (1980s) and now (police mugshot).
He was arrested after former pupils contacted each other through internet social networking sites and alerted police.
Oxford-educated Slade had been at the centre of an outcry in the early 1980s over accusations he was enjoying using the cane when corporal punishment was still legal. At the time he denied the allegations.
But yesterday a jury found him guilty of sexually assaulting and beating 12 boys from eight to 13 between 1978 and 1983.
Slade ran St George's School, which was initially based in Wicklewood, Norfolk, before it moved to Great Finborough, Suffolk, in 1980.
There Slade beat boys before ordering them to write about 'whackings I have had', Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Slade was arrested after former pupils complained two years ago. One victim said he had never told his parents what had happened. Another described Slade's assaults as 'reigns of terror'.
Slade confessed to being a paedophile and told jurors that there was a sexual motive behind the punishments.
He admitted assault, indecent assault and child pornography offences.
He denied allegations of more serious sexual assaults but was found guilty after a month-long trial.
The court heard that Slade, who has no teaching qualifications, set up the school with colleagues.
St George's had been in the spotlight in 1982 when a BBC radio programme reported on its harsh regime, the court heard.
Prosecutor Andrew Thompson said: 'His leadership has been described by some as a reign of terror. He derived some sexual pleasure from punishing the boys and comforting them afterwards.'
Mr Thompson said Slade chose a few boys as his 'particular favourites' for 'sexual exploitation'. He said he forced one to perform a sexual act on him in his office.
The prosecutor likened Slade to the violent headmaster Wackford Squeers in the Charles Dickens's novel Nicholas Nickleby
Slade admitted he had made boys take off their pants before beating them with the cane, slipper or bat.
He said he would then rub their bare buttocks for sexual gratification. Children at the school - many of whom were from military families - had no access to a telephone.
The court heard Slade intercepted pupils' letters to their parents. He once gave a boy 'the beating of his life' after reading a letter home in which he asked to be moved to another school.
When asked by prosecutors if Slade considered himself to be a paedophile, he said: 'I think I would have to accept that description.
'Having had these put all before me and considered what I have done and having looked at the things I have produced, I have no choice but to believe those were my motivation.'
It also emerged that after the school closed in the 1980s Slade obtained a false passport by copying a swindle in Frederick Forsyth's 1971 novel Day Of The Jackal.
Prosecutors said he was thought to have trawled cemeteries until he found the grave of a boy who had died in childhood but would have been a similar age. He got a copy of that boy's birth certificate and used it to obtain a false passport.
After obtaining the passport, Slade travelled to India and Africa, where he set up schools and carried out 'charity work'.
Slade has for the past 21 years been dividing his time between the UK and India. His Anglo-Kutchi English School in Gujurat was supposed to help poor children but two years ago the Help a Poor Child Charity withdrew its support after learning of Slade's past.
A number of pupils there are said to have been sexual victims of his and are taking legal action against him.
Slade, of Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, was convicted of more than 50 offences and will be sentenced on Monday.
Horrific: A page from his beatings log
Stars and stripes in a journal of punishment
Derek Slade kept a meticulous record of who was given corporal punishment, when and how.
The school journal recorded the details of the implement used and how many strokes had been administered.
St George's School operated a stars and stripes disciplinary system where pupils got stars for good behaviour and stripes for breaking rules.
Slade said boys receiving six or more stripes in a week would be called to his office for beatings, depending on their age and severity of their perceived misdemeanour.
His record showed that in one eight-week summer term 45 boys were beaten, some for not doing their home work or 'messing around in the dorm'.
It offered no hint of the sexual pleasure he gained - but even in 1982 when corporal punishment was legal, there were serious concerns that he ran a regime based on brutality.
'I believe in it': Derek Slade with his cane defends corporal punishment when confronted by an ITV journalist in 1982
Confronted by an ITV reporter in 1982 he placed the cane he admitted using on his desk and protested his innocence.
'I believe in corporal punishment, which is not very often caning, it normally involves use of the slipper,' he said. 'It is not excessive, it is not normally frequent as has been suggested.'
Pupils were also paraded in front of the cameras to back him up - but the truth was very different.
Last night one of his victims, now in his 40s, said: 'I was taken into his office, once again trousers down, pants down,' he said.
'He horsewhipped me. I call it horsewhipped but it was the cane. I lost count after about 12, maybe umpteen times. I was bleeding.'
SEE RELATED: Paedophile could face large compensation claim
http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk, September 8, 2010. www.nospank.net/n-t62.htm.