Hi all, I'm posting this for future reference for others who may have been locked out of their tablet by the slide lock. As always with software solutions, your mileage may vary. I got this from the truly lovely and helpful seller in Victoria, Australia who sold me my tablet. I hope it works for others coming across the same problem.
"I managed to get around the
screen lock issue on your Tab. At the login in screen where it doesn't swipe to unlock you plug in a keyboard and hold down "function" key as well as "end" key and it lets you in. To be safe I did a factory reset on the tab which executed perfectly fine. Strangely enough it wouldn't complete a factory reset when you tried from booting up just like you said. Only from inside the operating system itself did it work. So I tested it further and everything is fine."
Hope this helps someone else out there