Former Totterdown man jailed 24 years for child sex offences
Published on: 29 Jul 2016
A PENSIONER who once lived in Totterdown has been sentenced to 24 years in jail for sexual offences against children committed between the 1960s and 1980s in the UK.
Douglas Slade, 75, was tried at Bristol Crown Court on July 1 after he was expelled from the Philippines. Formerly of Sea Mills and Totterdown, he was found guilty of all 13 offences against five children. The youngest was 10 years old.
Slade was living near a school in the Phillipines when he was arrested and expelled in 2015.
A second man, 72-year-old Christopher Skeaping, formerly of Hounslow in London, was convicted of one count of indecent assault against one of these five victims. This victim had been introduced to Slade by Skeaping.
He was been jailed for five years after being convicted of indecently assaulting a boy. Skeaping was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order to last indefinitely.
In court, Judge Ambrose said Slade was “unrepentant” about his history of offending and commended the work of investigating officer Det Sgt Paul Melton for his work in bringing Slade to justice.
Slade and Skeaping were involved with the former Paedophile Action for Liberation, which later became the Paedophile Information Exchange - campaign groups in the 1970s and 1980s calling for the age of consent to be lowered to allow sex with children to be legalised.
Evidence gathered also proved he was part of a wider paedophile network involving men interested in the sexual abuse of children.
Following the hearing, Det Sgt Melton said: “This is a significant sentence which reflects the abhorrent and extensive offending of Douglas Slade.
“Slade was part of a network of men whose sole aim was to find vulnerable children to abuse.
“He’s shown absolutely no remorse for his sickening crimes or for the lasting emotional and psychological damage he’s caused. No child will ever be safe in his company.
“The strength and courage of the victims has been humbling and they have my heartfelt thanks for giving evidence in court, which has resulted in a dangerous paedophile being put behind bars.
“I’d like to send a message to any other potential victims - we are here to listen and support you. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Please contact your local police force or any of the excellent support agencies available and you will be given all the help and support you need.”
If you have information which could help the police inquiry, please call DS Paul Melton via 101 and quote Operation Falcon or use the form on the police website
Victims of rape or sexual assault, recent or non-recent, can also call The Bridge, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre available 24/7 365 days a year. Visit their website at thebridgecanhelp.org.uk or call 0117 342 6999
The Bridge provides medical care and emotional and practical support to anyone affected by rape and sexual assault. You can call The Bridge for help and decide about talking to the police later.
You can also visit thisisnotanexcuse.org for details of charities and organisations who are experts in supporting victims.
One of the victims of Douglas Slade released this statement through police during the trial.
He wrote: "My life has been affected in numerous ways. I viewed people in authority, specifically men, as predators and rebelled against the way in which they tried to get me to be.
“I didn’t feel like there was anybody that I could speak to back then, my distrust of people was so deep that I had to suffer with the things that happened to me on my own. I was so well groomed that I didn’t think anyone would believe me…I can even recall being told that I would go to prison if I said anything that happened to me.
“This court process has been extremely difficult for me to go through, as were the police interviews where I laid my soul bare and spoke about memories which I had kept locked away for so many years.
“The thing that has kept me going is that by doing this, the offenders will not be able to hurt anyone else and that children will be safe from them.
“I have been asked how I feel about Douglas Slade. He is evil and a coward who has not shown any remorse for his actions.
“I hope he gets convicted of what he has done to me and others and that he spends the rest of his life in prison, so he cannot hurt anyone else. I think that if this happens I will feel satisfied knowing that justice works and that I have been believed.”
Another of his victims wrote: “His (Slade’s) behaviour in a different jurisdiction (The Philippines) caused considerable worry and grief for me on a regular basis each time causing my heart to sink and bringing back the memory of his abuse of me 50 years ago.
“My wife asked me after I had given evidence - whether a weight has been lifted from my shoulders - and it hasn't. His actions will go with me to my grave, but I shall now store it at the back of my mind again.
“I believe his mind is set to denial that he has ever done anything with children let alone anything that he would consider to be wrong. Forgiveness can only come with a complete and honest admission of guilt and an expression of sorrow. That I doubt I shall ever hear.
“I am grateful for the way I was treated in court and that at least made the unpleasant experience somehow more bearable.
“I shall be eternally grateful for the support, tenacity and dedicated work of Detective Sergeant Paul Melton who has, in my view, set the highest standards of police work and brought Douglas Slade to book, something I thought I would never see happen in my lifetime.”