Tag Archives: Child Sexual Abuse




So Alex Salmond has been found innocent of all 13 charges of sex offences brought against him (Daily Telegraph, 24 March 2020, p. 15).

Two years ago, when the accusations first surfaced, students at Heriot-Watt University were polled by their union to find out whether they wished the plaque commemorating his previous visit as (then) First Minister of Scotland to the Riccarton Campus removed.  A clear majority replied that it should remain, on the basis that an individual is innocent until proven guilty.

Senior clergy in the Church of England might learn from this.  They were quick to condemn the late Bishop George Bell on the basis of a single unsubstantiated allegation of child sexual abuse and,  despite the conclusions of two extensive legal investigations that it was indeed unfounded, have been extremely reluctant to restore his name and reputation both within Chichester and beyond.  What a pity they were not educated at Heriot-Watt University. 

Dr Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson


March 25 2018 – “Truth is the scapegoat for Pilate Welby” – Rev Jules Gomes


Truth is the scapegoat for Pilate Welby

March 24, 2018


Jules Gomes


It is a week before Good Friday. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are re-enacting the Passion Play. The prelates take the part of Pontius Pilate – the archetypal political opportunist around whom pivots the denouement of the Passion. Pilate’s melodramatic and stunningly symbolic ritual of washing his hands has become a colourful and compelling metaphor for the artful evasion of responsibility at the highest level of authority.

Archbishop John Sentamu is standing in a queue before Pilate’s washbasin. He is waiting his turn. A bevy of bishops are dipping their hands into the shallow pool of sophistry and prevarication. They are chanting the absolution from the Church of England’s liturgy for Safeguarding and Child Protection. ‘It’s not my problem. It’s someone else’s problem.’ Amen.

They are shepherds and guardians of the flock. Fr Matthew Ineson is a member of that flock. Ineson complains that another vicar repeatedly raped him when he was 16 years old. He wants the Pilates in purple to give him justice. He appeals to Peter Burrows, Bishop of Doncaster. ‘That bishop did nothing,’ says Ineson. ‘Nothing.’

Ineson hopes that the other magnificent men in mitres will shield him with their staff and apply the balm of Gilead to his wounded soul. Like Bunyan’s Pilgrim he sets off to meet Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield; Martyn Snow, Bishop of Leicester; Glyn Webster, Bishop of Beverly; Roy Williamson, Bishop of Bradford (retired); and finally the Archbishops of York and Canterbury. But each time he says he is shoved into the Slough of Despond and the bishops ceremoniously wash Fr Matt’s muck off their hands.

‘It’s not my problem. It’s someone else’s problem.’ Amen – Absolution from the New Liturgy of Safeguarding

Ineson is calling on the bishops to resign over their handling of his complaints. This month he has been parading Sentamu before the judiciary of the mainstream media, social media andblogosphere. A Data Protection Act request has unearthed amemo that would make Pilate look like an amateur.

The memo deals with Ineson and the suicide of his alleged abuser. It is headed: ‘For the attention of the Archbishop.’ It ends with THERE IS NO NEED FOR YOU TO TAKE ANY ACTION. THE NATIONAL TEAM ARE MANAGING THE CASE. The last box on the memo is for ‘Archbishop’s Response’. The second highest-ranking cleric in the global Anglican Communion sums up his response to the suicide of one priest and the alleged rape of another in a single word: NOTED.

Earlier in the week, Justin Welby has been dragged before theIndependent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). Welby is not so foolish as to stand on the balcony of Lambeth Palace with a washbasin and towel. He has watched Sentamu and other bishops wash their hands using distilled water and carbolic soap. He has observed the media backlash.

At the hearing, Fiona Scolding QC socks it to Welby. ‘The other thing that we have seen a lot of in respect of leadership, or some people would say we have seen a lot of, is shifting the blame,’ she says. ‘Yes,’ replies Welby, carefully picking his monosyllable. Scolding lands an uppercut on the archbishop’s jaw. ‘Everybody admitting that it was partly their responsibility and they’re sorry for that, but actually, “It wasn’t really my responsibility and these are the 15 reasons why somebody else was responsible for it”.’ Welby knows when he’s out for the count. ‘Sure,’ he mumbles his second monosyllable.

A Data Protection Act request has unearthed a memo that would make Pilate look like an amateur.

But soon, with Machiavellian cunning, Welby spins Pilate’s washbasin strategy at dizzying speeds like a schoolboy spinning his top. He spits righteous outrage at Pilate’s washbasin. ‘Nobody can say it is not my fault. It is so absurd,’ says Welby. ‘To say, “I have heard about a problem but it was someone else’s job to report it”, that is not an acceptable human response, let alone a leadership response. If you know a child is being abused, not to report it is simply wrong, for every human being.’ Bravo, bravissimo, Archbishop Justin!

Ineson tweets back to the Arch of Cant: ‘Tell that to @JohnSentamu who ignored my disclosure & 5 years on (5 years my abuser was left to abuse again) now says it wasn’t his job, it was @Steven_croft’s. Problem is neither of them have the decency to apologise & @c_of_e hasn’t got the decency to hold them to account.’

He’s right. Aren’t these just ‘words, words, words’ that sicken Eliza Doolittle? Why isn’t Welby calling for the resignation of his opposite number in York?

Ah! But what if this is precisely what Welby is doing? The mob on the portico of Pilate’s palace is baying for Jesus’s blood. The best way to feed the hungry sharks is to throw them a steak. Pilate gives the mob a choice. He lines up a terrorist named Jesus Barabbas alongside Jesus of Nazareth. Pilate is not too fussed about whom the crowd will choose. After all, they have the same first name, ‘Jesus’!

Why isn’t Welby calling for the resignation of his opposite number in York?

Barabbas is Pilate’s joker in the pack. With Faustian foresight Welby has struck a bargain with Mephistopheles and crucified other bishops at the altar of public relations – the dead Bishop George Bell and former Archbishop George Carey. Now it’s time to throw Sentamu to the sharks. If he has not shredded every fibre of self-respect, though, Sentamu should resign immediately.

Pilate is a postmodernist. He has three principles. Power is absolute. Truth is relative. Survival is non-negotiable. Pilate makes Jesus of Nazareth the scapegoat that allows him to survive in power at the expense of truth.

After scapegoating Bell and Carey, Welby magically produces a number of sacrificial lambs he can lead straight to the slaughter. He pretends the problem is factionalism. ‘A lot of it goes down to tribalism within the Church. Different groups who felt the liberty of defending their own position, right or wrong.’ To claim that tribalism leads to sexual abuse is a high jump of faith only an Olympic athlete would attempt. Welby’s solution is to ‘introduce diversity in training’.

He blames clergy and laity in the parish. The Twitterati erupts with indignation. ‘This is appalling deflection. It’s not PCCs, CWs and Parish Clergy who have routinely undermined safeguarding protocols, passed the buck and allowed space for child abuse to continue is it. No, it’s Bishops and Archdeacons. Blame the small guys. Nothing changes,’ tweets Gareth Jones, Crown Court Chaplain.

Ultimately, the real scapegoat is truth. ‘What is truth?’ asks Welby, in his poshest Roman accent. Pilate survives to this day. Every time we recite the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed we remember that Jesus was ‘crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate’. And at every rock concert when the heavy metal group Megadeth belt out their song Elysian Fields from the Youthanasia album, they are singing the line ‘Pontius Pilate is still washing his hands . . .’

February 20 2018 – “Why it is all our duty to prioritise child safety” – Daily Telegraph – Paul Hayward – Chief Sports Writer


Why it is all our duty to prioritise child safety

Why it is all our duty to prioritise child safety
Gary Cliffe, a victim of Barry Bennell, speaks outside Liverpool Crown Court after the sentencing of his former coach CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

One of the beauties of sport is that it populates its landscape with young people dreaming of making it into the big time. Among its darkest aspects is the violation of those dreams by predators who see aspiration as a vulnerability they can exploit.

From the depravity of Barry Bennell right down to the spiv who tries to get rich on the back of a child’s talent, young people are in need of protection by families, institutions, vigilant individuals and of course the rule of law, which has caught up with Bennell – jailed at Liverpool Crown Court for 30 years for abusing 12 young footballers between 1979 and 1991.

Those protective structures failed abysmally for a generation of children who were defenceless against Bennell’s brazen and routine sex crimes, which, as the court heard, occurred on an “industrial scale.” As we know from the Jimmy Savile case and others, this level of sexual criminality is not possible unless those with the power to stop it are blinded by the perpetrator or place their own self-interest first.

In this case, parts of the Football Association, Manchester City and Crewe Alexandra – in that period – refused or failed to see Bennell’s interest in scouting and coaching was incidental to his main reason for working in football. His chief purpose was to gain access to children. He played a double game to satisfy his appetites, conning the clubs into thinking he was a talent-spotter par excellence and the children and their families into believing he held the key to a future in the game.

The NSPCC’s statement after sentencing pointed out that Bennell “ruthlessly preyed on the hopes and aspirations of young footballers who believed he held the key to their dreams”.

Procedures are much tighter in football now. Awareness has improved exponentially since the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties. Yet, as the many recent welfare-in-sport scandals have demonstrated, there is still a phase in which young people are vulnerable if they have not attained full adulthood or the power that comes with success.

That stage of life, where children are most open to being exploited, is the one that requires the most careful policing, because sex offenders are drawn to professions in which they have access to, and can exploit the ambitions of, young people. Thus it falls not only to governing bodies but also coaches, parents – all of us, in fact – to recognise the danger signs and intervene, as opposed to merely muttering our concerns.

From Bennell’s perspective, reptilian deceit was effective. One member of City’s staff called him “the star-maker”. Concerns raised by Len Davies at City and Hamilton Smith at Crewe gained no real traction. Now, a further 86 alleged victims have reportedly come forward, which accentuates one of the truly shocking features of this tragedy: the impunity with which Bennell abused children, and the breadth of his crimes, in homes, holiday camps, football clubs and even on the pitch at Maine Road.

The FA have a responsibility to show negligence and complicity have consequences

Only the victims who came forward to testify can know how long the “relief” will last. And relief was certainly the most conspicuous first response. No quest for justice – even one so obviously grounded in fact – guarantees the kind of outcome that exposed Bennell’s sadism and perversion.

The first emotion, one assumes, is one of vindication. The lie has been broken. An expectation now, however, is that thoughts will turn quickly to those who excused Bennell’s paedophilia, looked the other way, or facilitated it in ways that require them to be held to account.

Lord Carlile, one of the country’s leading legal figures, has said Bennell’s behaviour was “brushed under the carpet” by Crewe.

These failures, where they existed, cannot be marked down as unfortunate accidents. The victims are entitled to justice from football as well as the legal system. The FA bear a responsibility in their forthcoming report to show that negligence and complicity have consequences, not least for the FA of that time.

The societal nature of this crime was grimly apparent when a “Cambridge-educated” geophysicist from a “privileged” background, Matthew Falder, was jailed for 32 years at Birmingham Crown Court after admitting 137 offences including blackmail, voyeurism, encouraging child rape and sharing indecent images – on the same day Bennell began his latest prison sentence.

Football is not uniquely blighted by child sex abuse, and its safeguards now are better. But in all cases it needs to think first of child protection, of child welfare, and punish those who have failed in that duty.

Bishop Bell and ‘The Cathedral Guide Letter’ to the Dean of Chichester


Chichester Cathedral

Monday, November 28 2016

The Deanery

Chichester Cathedral


West Sussex PO19 1PY

Dear Dean and Members of Chapter

We write concerning the recent publication of the Pitkin Guide to the Cathedral. In common with many people locally and nationally who have read it, we find your stance on the text concerning the late Bishop Bell unhelpful. We are given to understand the copyright is your responsibility and that you wrote the text in question.

When every effort is being made to heal the hurt and divisions occasioned by the way the Church locally and nationally has handled this affair, it seems to us unwise to leave in place any potentially damaging text about Bishop Bell.

As concern grows nationally regarding the handling of sexual abuse cases, we await the investigation into the Church of England’s handling of this affair.

In the meantime, we would suggest three possible courses of action:

1. The withdrawal of the Guide from sale pending the Review by Lord Carlile QC

2. The re-printing of the Guide, excluding – or re-writing – the text in question

3. The insertion of a Slip into every copy of the Guide, stating something along the lines of: “The accusation of child sexual abuse which has been made against Bishop George Bell is now the subject to an investigation – led by Lord Carlile QC – which will report in 2017”.

Thank you for giving this letter your consideration.


Yours sincerely


Timothy ADAMS









Professor Peter BILLINGHAM

Joanna BOGLE






Dr Colin CLARK

Brian COOK

Yvette COOK






Charlotte EVANS

The Reverend David EVANS

Anthony FRENCH

The Reverend Dr Jules GOMES


Dr Ruth Hildebrandt GRAYSON

Professor James GRAYSON

Annabelle HANCOCK


The Reverend Professor Martin HENIG



Christopher HILL

Christopher HOARE

Richard HOARE








The Very Reverend Professor Martyn PERCY

Thelma PERCY





Sandra SAER

Marguerite SAFFERY



Michael SHARP

Richard W. SYMONDS


Dr Geoffrey THOMAS

The Reverend John TIBBS

Michael TIBBS








For any reply and/or further information, please contact:

Richard W. Symonds The Bell Society 2 Lychgate Cottages Ifield Street, Ifield Village Crawley, West Sussex RH11 0NN
Tel: 07540 309592 (Text only – Very deaf)

Email: richardsy5@aol.com

cc The Rt Revd Dr Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester

Further Information:



A Dark, Hidden History of Child Sexual Abuse within the Diocese of Chichester in East and West Sussex


Rev Vickery House: Will No One Rid Us Of These Paedophile Priests ?


A retired Church of England priest has been found guilty of a string of sex offences dating back to the 1970s and 1980s.

Vickery House, 69, from West Sussex, had denied eight counts of indecent assault against six males aged 14 to 34, between 1970 and 1986.

He told the Old Bailey he was ashamed of his actions but claimed they were not sexual assaults.

House, of Brighton Road, Handcross, will be sentenced on Thursday.

The former vicar in Berwick, East Sussex, worked under Bishop Peter Ball, who was jailed for 32 months earlier this month after he admitted molesting young men between 1977 and 1992.

BBC News

26 responses to “Rev Vickery House: Will No One Rid Us Of These Paedophile Priests ?

  1. John Derbyshire

    Yes, who will rid us of the paedophile priests, well on present form certainly not the Church authorities. Let me explain, many years ago my late father along with three other Church Officers was informed by the Vicar that he was deeply worried about clergy appointments. At first they thought he was going to say the new clergy are not to the calibre of yesteryear. Instead he told them he was deeply concerned about appointments and then shocked them with the statement that paedophiles where being appointed as Bishops, he named Peter Ball by name.
    So it could be the appointments system that is it fault. Now as the Bishops appoint the clergy, then there may develop a concentration of sexual deviants in a Diocese, This leads to the question of who is appointing or promoting paedophiles in the Church. I think the appointment of Bishops should be more open than as it is at present and the Laity should be more vocal in telling the authorities that they do not want cover ups for clergy or priests who commit sexual crimes. For if both the laity and clergy prefer to hide the crimes and relocate clergy, they should be charged with covering up crimes.

    • Peter McKelvie talked to Tom Watson on the phone, Tom Watson then did his PMQ, as a consequence of the PMQ, David Hencke and A N Other went to Tom Watson about Elm Guest House (EGH) and after that Tom Watson met with Peter McKelvie for the first time. Peter mistakenly believed that Tom knew about EGH at the time of the PMQ, he did not. The PMQ referred solely to the information referred to by Peter. The paedophile ring referred to by Tom was the Peter Righton, Charles Napier et al (PIE) ring.


      • Parsonage

        “The paedophile ring referred to by Tom was the Peter Righton, Charles Napier et al (PIE) ring.”

        That’s not the way the Panorama journalist tells it

        “Watson’s source was Peter McKelvie, a whistleblower with a long experience of working in social work and child protection. He had helped on a 1994 BBC documentary, The Secret Life of a Paedophile, which profiled Righton and brilliantly exposed how he had been allowed to rise to the top ranks of social work despite having admitted a sexual interest in children to colleagues. McKelvie claimed that evidence recovered by police from Righton’s house contained the supposedly explosive link to No. 10. McKelvie believed he had a lead to the former senior aide being prepared to look after child -pornography.

        But who was this ‘senior’ politician? Watson was quick to point out who it
        wasn’t, ruling out Peter Morrison, a former aide to Margaret Thatcher. I soon established whom McKelvie believed it to be: a man who is now today a government minister. I won’t name him because, as we have seen over the past few months, baseless accusations against innocent men can cause permanent reputational damage. Mr Watson did not, evidently, believe these claims to be baseless — indeed, when I made my inquiries, I was also told that two witnesses would be able to confirm Minister X’s involvement. But when I tracked down the supposed witnesses, both told me that he never been part of the abuse they had suffered.”



      • LJMT

        And also because the Church is supposed to be, in many areas is, but in some shockingly has not been, on the side of the good guys, a safe place, a clean well, and pure of heart, not mired in lust. Following Jesus, that is, not navel gazing, churchy, narcissistic, misogynist, and sordid, nor persecuting the better clergy. Every time a cleric involved deeply in sin gets promoted a decent clean living one doesn’t and the Holy Spirit is grieved.

        It is a feature of many horror films that one of the worst things that can happen is that someone turns for help to the safety of the good guys and the good institutions, and finds them rotten. That is why it matters so much, and why those who have infiltrated the church, called bad good, lust love, and everything, down to the age of consent relative, must be booted out post haste, along with any structures or committees that might have promoted the wrong sort, as asserted by John Derbyshire above, for the church to survive and do the works of God, which is what it is there for.

  2. dpack

    re the clergy,if robin bryans is correct there is a long history of wronguns being not only being concealed to avoid scandal or tolerated but at times reaching high office within the coe and nonconformist churches.

    as recent events have demonstrated the coe seems to have the same issues as the vatican and no dought various other religious organizations.

    much as is seen in residential social work bad attracts bad and drives out good(and visa versa) which has the effect of concentrating wronguns into clumps.the greenlight data for the care system does seem to show hot spots and areas with low offending rates(hopefully not low detection rates).

    a similar map for religious organizations might well show similar variations and possibly lead to the “common factors”.


    • If we want to get those who abuse children brought to justice we need to work with people of good will from all sides. The Churches seem to be the ones who have buried this the most deeply. All political parties have been less inquisitive than they should have been. Sure, there are some odd games afoot and scores being settled. The police have been rubbish historically.

      I recently went through a link from here to a history of the Belgian cases. It’s worse than I imagined. There was abuse on an industrial scale, with children simply being taken off the street to order. The investigations seem to have petered out due to political cowardice and collusion.

      Watson is not the boogeyman. Neither is he flawless. He’s not a powerful man like Dominic Strauss-Kahn or Jeffrey Epstein. Look at his demeanour. It does seem plausible to me that there are powerful men with insatiable sexual appetites who have the ability to indulge themselves whenever they feel like it. They may feel themselves as the alpha males. The real movers and shakers. We are seeing such men coming apart in Fifa right now. We saw Mosley and his Nazi sex parties.

      It seems clear to me that there are some among this powerful elite who enjoy raping children. The evidence of the people coming forward is often confused and fragmented. They were children when this was done to them! The evidence of Jane and Nick and others is entirely consistent with what was happening to children in Belgium. The UK is not an isolated occurrence. Our focus needs to be on these grotesque and insatiable men. As in Belgium, they may be in the parliament, in the police force, in the judiciary, in the church and in the royal family. Wherever serious power is to be had and especially unaccountable un-scrutinised power, these men will be present.


      “The evidence of Jane and Nick and others is entirely consistent with what was happening to children in Belgium.”

      Well surely allegations should stand or fall upon their own credibility. It would seem that neither Jane nor Nick’s allegations, nor indeed those of Darren or David, pass this litmus test. To say that they are credible on the basis of imputed association with occurrences in another country strikes me as unsound in the extreme. Should Chris Fay, the convicted fraudster, be judged to be telling the truth re his tale of Britain’s photo (pink tutu, boy on knee) on the same basis?



      I agree with much of your post, but I have an issue with this comment:-

      “We saw Mosley and his Nazi sex parties.”

      Mosley stated that these ‘sex parties’ took place in the context of role play/consensual BDSM activity involving only consenting adults. His testimony has been accepted in law, and Mosley successfully sued the NOTW for implying otherwise. In fact, the women involved – all adults well over 18 – were very unhappy with the media descriptions of them as ‘prostitutes’. Seemingly, Mosley did pay for the rental on the venue – but only because he happened to be wealthy. Their take on it was very different to that of the gutter tabloid press. The women were not prostitutes, and Mosley is not, and never has been, a Nazi (his father certainly had sympathies in that direction, but we should not transfer the sins of the father onto the son).

      I think it is very dangerous and wrong-headed to conflate adult consensual sex activities with child abuse. Such a conflation runs the risk of getting close to the Mary Whitehouse type anti-sex mentality of the past, in my view.


      I agree in general with what you say, but I think it is hard to assume that these members of a ‘powerful elite’ act independently to satisfy their perverted desires. There is much more at stake, why on earth should such people be supported in their powerful positions?

      Your work colleague represents the ‘I’m alright jack’ mentality in the UK, those who have benefited financially and don’t want to disrupt the status quo, which allows them a better life style over others. It’s also about aspiration, climbing the ladder at the expense of others, so they are happy to be in denial, to believe the MSM etc propaganda, for party political reasons, that support their comfortable lifestyles over others, even the denial of the now burgeoning evidence of CSA in every instituition in Britain, not a very compassionate society!

      You are right that if we want to confront and deal with the CSA issue, we all have to get over our party political prejudices and accept that every institution, from the establishment down has been infected (like a rotting fish) and has been allowed to, because of this same denial, it is not party political, but people are using it as such to prevent the much needed changes!

  3. iantoosmart


    I’m not intending to be censorius, but what I’m saying is that there seem to be a class of very powerful men who have ready access to unusual sexual activities. Presumably, such men pay a lot of money for this. My presumption is that some must be paying for children. This certainly has been proven in Belgium. People who are coming forward as adults are reporting that when they were children they were used by such men. I’m no Mary Whitehouse. I’m trying to find a better way of characterising such men and their activities which more accurately portrays their weakness and lack of control rather than what I see as a constant re-inforcement of the strength of such men by conspiracy theories that see them as always protected by ‘the establishment’. Although men who indulge in sex with children in these circumstances may have the best lawyers and although they may have connections with those pulling the levers of power, they are ultimately child rapists and I am trying to make the case that we should use that term rather the more anodyne ‘paedophile’. Clearly there are some in the police who are well aware of some of these individuals, but for lack of hard evidence and a degree of interference, they are unable to act. These men and not ‘child-lovers’.

    • Aardvark

      If such powerful child abusers are not protected, how have they constantly got away with their crimes? You just have to look at Gojam’s post about child abusing Bishops to be confronted with the fact that multiple, child abusers have infiltrated into powerful establishment positions and have not been prosecuted, in fact, the establishment has covered up for them.

      There is clear evidence that members of the establishment have committed child abuse crimes and have been covered up for.(Sir Peter Hayman, Sir Peter Morrison, Sir Cyril Smith etc etc etc, there are multiple closed files etc etc). If there is no collusion with their peers etc, how did they get away with their crimes? Why has child abuse been tolerated by those in positions of power, when in broader society it is seen as abhorrent? It is very hard to imagine, as you say, that these, powerful child abusers, have been able to act independently. How did they get into positions of power,and maintain that power, with their own particular, abhorrent to most, peccadilloes?

    • tdf


      Agreed, certainly, that ‘paedophile’ is not really an appropriate term considering its meaning in Greek. To an extent the fact that this word has entered into the common lexicon represents a victory of sorts (albeit largely pyrrhic) for the P.I.E.

  4. Pingback: Rev Vickery House: Will No One Rid Us Of These Paedophile Priests – News4Security



Sex abuse priest Gordon Rideout jailed for 10 years

  • 20 May 2013
  • 2524736193
Media caption
Canon Gordon Rideout denied abusing girls and boys at a children’s home

An Anglican priest who abused children in the 1960s and 70s has been jailed for 10 years.

Canon Gordon Rideout, 74, from East Sussex, who is now retired, was found guilty of 36 separate sex offences by a jury at Lewes Crown Court.

The attacks took place between 1962 and 1973 in Hampshire and Sussex.

Most of them were carried out at Ifield Hall children’s home in Crawley, when he was an assistant curate. The charges related to 16 different children.

Rideout, from Polegate, had denied 34 indecent assaults and two attempted rapes.

He was acquitted of one charge of indecent assault against a five-year-old child.

‘Position of trust’

Rideout was the assistant curate at St Mary’s Church in Southgate, Crawley, from September 1962 to September 1965.

During that time he regularly visited the Barnardo’s children’s home, Ifield Hall, which has since been demolished.

The majority of the offences took place there, although he was also convicted of four charges of indecent assault on two girls at the Middle Wallop army base, where he was a padre at St Michael’s Church on the site.

In 1972 he was accused of three indecent assaults at the base, but was cleared by a military hearing.

He was also the subject of a police investigation in 2001.

Nigel Pilkington, head of the CPS South East complex casework unit, said: “As an assistant curate and then chaplain, Gordon Rideout was in a position of trust which he systemically abused, indecently assaulting the vulnerable youngsters that he met over a number of years.

‘Brutal beatings’

“He was able to wander through Ifield Hall and the gardens, even visiting children when they were sick and alone in bed.

Media captionGordon Rideout also faced trial in 1972 for indecent assault but was acquitted

“One victim recalled how the children would hide under their covers when he came into their dormitories.”

Mr Pilkington said a number of his victims attempted to speak out about the abuse, but were subjected to “brutal beatings” when they did.

“Some of his victims told police in interviews that it simply ‘wasn’t worth complaining’ because of the punishment they would receive in return,” he said.

“Instead the victims hid what happened to them for many years and none of us can begin to imagine the impact that has had on their lives.”

‘Destructive suffering’

Barnardo’s director of children’s services, Sam Monaghan, said: “We are extremely saddened by this case and our deepest sympathies go out to those who have suffered; it has taken great courage for them to step forward and relive their experiences.

“We are glad that justice has been served and believe it is critical that abusers are held to account for their crimes, regardless of when they took place.”

Following the sentencing, the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, said Rideout had caused “immeasurable and destructive suffering over a long period of time”.

“He has also betrayed the trust and respect of many who have valued his ministry,” he said.

But in a statement, Dr Warner noted that the Diocese of Chichester was left with the question of why it had taken so long for “these grave accusations to be taken seriously and brought to trial”.

“What lessons do we all have to learn from this terrible catalogue of abuse about the strength and effectiveness of our communication within and between agencies that have responsibility for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults?

“In the Diocese of Chichester we shall continue to interrogate those procedures and to do our very best to ensure that we deliver the quality and standard that others expect of us.”

More on this story

  • Gordon Rideout child sex abuse victims not believed
    20 May 2013
  • Jury retires in Gordon Rideout sex abuse trial
    15 May 2013
  • Canon Gordon Rideout denies child sex attacks in Sussex
    8 May 2013

    Report into paedophile priests Cotton and Pritchard investigated

    • 19 July 2011
    Roy Cotton (left) and Colin Pritchard

Image captionRoy Cotton and Colin Pritchard abused young boys

The Church of England is starting an investigation into how inaccurate information was published in a report on two paedophile priests.

The report, by Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss for the Church, looked at how historic claims of abuse by two Sussex priests were handled.

Lewes and Hastings Archdeacon, the Ven Philip Jones, denied there had been a cover-up.

“The Church has gone to great lengths to make sure that is not the case.”

The report followed a review by Baroness Butler-Sloss into the cases of Roy Cotton and Colin Pritchard, who abused children in the 1970s and 1980s.

Pritchard served as the vicar of St Barnabas, Bexhill, until 2007 after being arrested over sex abuse claims. In 2008 he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two boys and was jailed for five years.

The offences took place while he was parish priest at St Andrew’s Church in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.

The court heard that Cotton had been involved in the offences but died in 2006, two weeks before Pritchard was arrested. Cotton worked as a priest in Brede, near Rye, in the 1990s.

Cotton was ordained in 1966, despite having a conviction for indecently assaulting a choir boy in the 1950s, and went on to abuse at least 10 boys from Eastbourne.

Inaccuracies in the Butler-Sloss review came to light after a BBC investigation.

Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes, told the baroness that he had given Cotton permission to officiate in 1999 to permit him to celebrate communion in the nursing home where he was then living.

But the BBC discovered he was not admitted to the nursing home until September 2003.

A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Chichester said last week new information had come to light since its publication of the report, adding Cotton had been ill from 1999 onwards and may have spent some time in hospital.

The archdeacon said Bishop Benn “maintained consistently” that he had understood his information he gave to be accurate.

And he said the report was still credible.

“The main thrust of the report relates to safeguarding practice and the recommendations she has made are full and entirely to the point,” he said.

“We have taken the recommendations on board in their entirety.

“Ultimately our priority is for the safeguarding of children.”

Bishop Benn is away on sabbatical and was not available for comment.

More on this story

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    9 June 2011
  • CofE agreed paedophile ordination
    26 May 2011
  • Church criticised over sex abuse
    25 May 2011
  • Review into sex abuse ‘failings’
    14 December 2010