Top bishop’s diocese is under fire over a child sex abuse ‘cover-up’ after a trainee vicar raped two Christian girls
- Timothy Storey was jailed for 15 years for for grooming girls on Facebook
- ‘Arrogant’ Reverend Hugh Valentine refused to give evidence in court
- Reverend Jeremy Crossley is also now facing disciplinary action
- Richard Chartres, head of the London Diocese was urged to punished them but did not
One of Britain’s best-known bishops faced controversy last night after it emerged his diocese refused to punish two leading priests in a new church child sex abuse row.
The London diocese, headed by the Bishop of London Richard Chartres – the third most senior Church of England cleric – faced a call by the bishop’s own independent inquiry to consider punishing two priests criticised after a trainee vicar raped two Christian girls.
But the diocese did not take any action, saying it could cause further upset to the victims.
The London diocese, headed by the Bishop of London Richard Chartres (pictured) – the third most senior Church of England cleric – faced a call by the bishop’s own independent inquiry to consider punishing two priests criticised after a trainee vicar raped two Christian girls
Oxford-educated Timothy Storey was jailed for 15 years last April after a court heard how he groomed hundreds of children on Facebook, using his position as children’s pastor to prey on ‘weak, insecure girls’.
Judge Philip Katz lambasted the ‘utterly incompetent failure’ of ‘arrogant’ church leaders to protect young girls – and accused them of a cover-up. Bishop Chartres apologised and set up an independent inquiry into the scandal.
The Mail on Sunday has established that it was concluded five months ago.
Oxford-educated Timothy Storey was jailed for 15 years last April after a court heard how he groomed hundreds of children on Facebook
Its full contents were kept secret, but this newspaper can reveal the inquiry said both clerics should face disciplinary action – even though both had already been removed from their children’s supervisory roles.
We can also disclose that the two clerics – identified in the report only as ‘clergy person A and B’ – are the Reverend Hugh Valentine and the Reverend Jeremy Crossley.
Valentine was Bishop Chartres’s adviser on child protection during Storey’s reign of terror. The Storey trial judge criticised his ‘arrogance’ in refusing to give evidence.
Valentine has carried on as curate at St James’s Church, Westminster. In his sermon last Sunday, entitled Sexuality And Bishops, he accused the Church of treating gays and lesbians like ‘embarrassing relations’ and said religion had helped breed ‘hatred’, including ‘homophobia, misogyny and racism’.
Valentine also works for a young person’s charity, the Walcot Foundation. Crossley was Bishop Chartres’s director of ordinands, and is Rector at St Margaret Lothbury Church in the City of London.
During Storey’s trial, Judge Katz said the diocese was ‘stone deaf’ to complaints from the victims of self-confessed sex addict Storey, and ‘shamefully’ tried to shift the blame to police. Some of its leaders ‘seemed to be worried about the reputational damage to the diocese’.
Police praised the media for finally bringing Storey to justice.
We can also disclose that the two clerics – identified in the report only as ‘clergy person A and B’ – are the Reverend Hugh Valentine (left) and the Reverend Jeremy Crossley (right)
The review ordered by Bishop Chartres said the Church should ‘consider an investigation under the Clergy Disciplinary Measure’ (CDM) into Valentine and Crossley.
It said the Church must face ‘the consequences’ of its blunders.
A spokesman for the diocese said: ‘Legal analysis concluded there were not sufficient grounds to pursue complaints under the CDM and any failed process would cause further pain to survivors.’
The decision followed an assessment by the diocesian safeguarding team, not the bishop.