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10-years imprisonment for abuser priest: The Church of England Newspaper, May 26, 2013 p 7. May 30, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
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A retired Diocese of Chichester clergyman has been found guilty by a jury at Lewes Crown Court of 36 counts of sexual abuse committed against 16 young girls and boys in their early teens over an 11-year period between 1962 and 1973.

On 20 May 2013 the jury found Canon Gordon Rideout (74) guilty on 31 incidents of abuse at the Barnardo’s children’s home — Ifield Hall in Crawley, West Sussex — and one in Barkingside, Essex between 1962 and 1968, and four indecent assaults at the Middle Wallop army base in Hampshire between 1971 and 1973 where he served as a chaplain.

A charge of having molested a five-year-old girl in Crawley was dismissed.

The court sentenced Canon Rideout to a 10-year term of imprisonment.

“Gordon Rideout has been the cause of 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. Today’s verdict will have repercussions in many different ways across Sussex and beyond,” the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner said.

The bishop said: “Our primary concern today is with the people who have had to live for a very long time with the consequences of the shameful abuse they suffered from Gordon Rideout.”

“We should pay tribute to those who, at considerable personal and emotional cost, have been able to come forward, to provide evidence, and to substantiate accusations as witnesses in the trial which has led to a guilty verdict.”

The bishop thanked the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Colin Perkins, and the police for their work on the case. But he lamented the diocese’s failure to act sooner.

“We are left with the question of why it has 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?”, the bishop asked.

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