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Paedophile group member jailed for 24 years

Published 01/07/2016

Douglas Slade will be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court
Douglas Slade will be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court
Douglas Slade (left) and Christopher Skeaping, (right), were convicted at Bristol Crown Court (Avon and Somerset Police/PA)

A member of the Paedophile Information Exchange, a group which campaigned for sex with children to be decriminalised, has been jailed for 24 years.

Douglas Slade, 75, was expelled from the Philippines in 2015 and brought back to the UK to be charged with 13 offences of abusing children between the 1960s and 1980s.

Slade, formerly of Sea Mills and Totterdown in Bristol, was convicted of all charges against him following a trial at Bristol Crown Court.

The offences, committed in Bristol and other parts of the country between 1965 and 1980, were against five boys - the youngest aged 10 at the time.

Judge Euan Ambrose jailed Slade for 24 years and ordered him to serve an additional 12 months on licence upon his release.

"Your interest in young boys was well established," the judge told Slade, who has no previous convictions.

"It had led you to become involved in two notorious organisations, Paedophile Action for Liberation and the Paedophile Information Exchange.

"I am satisfied that you were involved in both organisations. I cannot determine the precise role that you played.

"You liked to boast about having been involved in setting them up, whether that was in fact true or not.

"It reflected your interest in sex with young boys and your wish to see sex between adults and young boys decriminalised."

Slade was convicted of seven offences of indecent assault and six offences of buggery against his victims, who were aged between 10 and 16 at the time.

Victim impact statements provided to the court showed the "extremely deep and long lasting" effect of the abuse on their lives, the judge said.

Those targeted had home lives that were chaotic, with Slade providing them with parties, alcohol and cigarettes.

"The dreadful truth was that behind all that lay the objection of persuading these boys to have sex with you," the judge said.

Slade, who suffers from diabetes and high cholesterol , remained emotionless as the sentence against him was passed.

The investigation into Slade began in 2010 when one victim came forward to report being abused by him and several others in the 1970s.

A second victim was identified and three men were convicted of sexual offences but charges could not be brought against Slade as he was living in Angeles City in the Philippines.

Avon and Somerset Police worked with the National Crime Agency to identify further victims, with Slade expelled from the Philippines in 2015, brought to the UK and charged.

"What has happened is your past has caught up with you - a past about which you appear wholly unrepentant," Judge Ambrose added.

Slade was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register for life and adhere to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order banning him from contacting boys aged under 16.

Following the sentencing, Detective Sergeant Paul Melton of Avon and Somerset Police said: "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."

Christopher Skeaping, 72, formerly of Hounslow in London, will be sentenced for one count of indecent assault against one of Slade's victims at a date to be fixed.

A spokesman for the NSPCC said: "The indefensible Paedophile Information Exchange has once again been exposed by this case - an organisation predominantly consisting of men who posed a very serious danger to vulnerable children.

"Slade, in particular, provided information and support to fellow child abusers so they in turn could carry out their own abuse."

He added that without the bravery of five victims - now middle-aged men - Slade may have never been brought to justice.

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