Norfolk: Ex Teacher Jailed For Sex Assaults

10 July 2012, 17:13 | Updated: 10 July 2012, 17:19

Alan Brigden worked as a maths teacher at St George's School in Wicklewood near Wymondham in Norfolk between 1979 and 1980.

Alan Adrian Brigden was a maths teacher at a school in West Sussex between May and October 1977.

He then taught maths at St George’s School in Wicklewood near Wymondham between September 1979 and August 1980, where he used the surname Morton.

On Tuesday, July 10 he was sentenced to five years in prison, which he will serve in Holland where he has been living.

Enquiries to trace Brigden were carried out with the assistance of the Overseas Tracking Team from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre and the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). It was established that he had been granted Dutch citizenship and was living in Amsterdam. A European Arrest Warrant was sworn and in August 2011 Alan Brigden was arrested on behalf of UK police in Amsterdam. Extradition proceedings began, and Brigden was brought to the UK in January 2012. He was charged with indecent assault (6), assault with intent to commit buggery (4) and gross indecency with a boy (4).

On Friday 15 June 2012 Brigden pleaded guilty to all the charges against him at Ipswich Crown Court. Thirteen of the offences were committed whilst on a school trip during his time teaching at St George’s at Wicklewood, and the other was committed on a school trip to the Lake District whilst teaching in West Sussex.

He was today sentenced to five years in prison, which he will serve in Holland.

In March 2008 Suffolk Constabulary received a complaint of historic abuse against Alan Morton from a former pupil at St George’s School. As the allegation related to a Norfolk school it was passed to Norfolk Constabulary.

In March 2009 Suffolk Constabulary received a further complaint of historic abuse relating to St George’s School in its Great Finborough location in Suffolk, by headmaster Derek Slade. As the investigation progressed, further complaints were received and Suffolk Constabulary began to work closely with the Crown Prosecution Service’s Complex Case Unit. In joining the Suffolk and Norfolk investigations together in January 2010, the inquiry continued with officers and staff from the Joint Major Investigation Team, led by Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Adrian Randall of Suffolk Constabulary’s Child Abuse Investigation Unit.

Following extensive inquiries Derek Slade was arrested in February 2010, and in May 2010 he admitted 16 charges of making indecent images of children, possession of almost 4,500 indecent images of children and being in possession of a false passport. He admitted 20 offences of indecent assault (15) and assault ABH (5) in July and August 2010, and was found guilty of additional offences of assault ABH (6), indecent assault (4) and serious sexual assault (3) in September 2010. He was sentenced to a total of 21 years’ imprisonment.

Inquiries into the complaint against Morton continued. Following the publicity for the Slade trial, a complaint was received against Alan Brigden relating to the time when he was a teacher in West Sussex. Inquiries established that Brigden and Morton were in fact the same person. In both cases, Brigden took a boy on a trip and sexually assaulted him.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Adrian Randall said: "Whilst the conviction and sentencing of Derek Slade was a milestone in this investigation, other allegations have been received relating to St George’s School and it is just as important that we get justice for those other victims of abuse.

"One of the offences committed by Brigden happened almost 35 years ago, longer ago than the oldest of Slade’s crimes. This, along with the fact that Brigden was living abroad and had become a Dutch national meant our inquiries were even more complex. But today’s result demonstrates that time and borders will not stand in the way of dealing with offenders who may think they have evaded the law.

"I hope that the outcome of today’s hearing is of comfort to those victims who now will not have to relive the traumatic experiences they went through at the hands of Brigden. He will never again be allowed to work with children, and will be returned to Holland to serve his sentence.

"I would like to thank the officers from Suffolk and Norfolk Constabularies, British Transport Police, and our colleagues in the Crown Prosecution Service, SOCA, CEOP and the Dutch prosecutors and police for their work during this investigation and court process."

One of Alan Brigden’s victims said:"Alan Brigden was a maths teacher at St George’s Boarding School for Boys in Norfolk who had a profound and lasting negative effect on my life. I was a vulnerable child when he came into my life, I already had been subjected to an extraordinary scale of brutality and abuse under the regime of Derek Slade and was an easy target for someone like Brigden, a man who was in a position of responsibility and who was supposed to protect and educate children, but in fact his motives to place himself in the position were entirely nefarious.

“I cannot relay how much this man manipulated me; I was left to feel everything was my fault, that something was wrong with me. I was convinced as a child that telling anybody anything about the abuse would bring nothing but shame, disbelief and trouble to me.

“I was 11 years old, bright, confident and glad to be in the world before I went to St George’s School. I hope that now at 43 years I can begin to discover what it might be like to be glad to be in the world once again.”