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Sussex cleric banned for Life: The Church of England Newspaper, April 6, 2014 April 11, 2014

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The Diocese of Chichester has banned a retired clergyman imprisoned for child abuse in 2013, the Rev. Wilkie Denford from “ministerial practice for life.”

On 21 March 2014 the diocese released a statement saying: “Following the conclusion of criminal proceedings and a subsequent statutory disciplinary process under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003, sentences of prohibition for life from exercising any functions of ordained ministry within the Church of England have been imposed upon the Reverend Keith (Wilkie) Denford. The sentences are imposed under Section 30 of the Clergy Discipline Measure following the respondents’ convictions and imprisonment for a series of indecent assaults, including offences against minors.”

In May 2013 Denford was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment by the Hove Crown Court for sexually abusing two teenage boys.  “There can be no greater breach of trust than a man playing the role of a man of God, and as the spiritual adviser to the family concerned, to take advantage of that position to abuse small children,” Judge Paul Tain told Denford at his sentencing.

In a 9 May 2013 statement released after the sentence was handed down, the Bishop of Chichester, the Rt. Rev. Martin Warner, said “today will mark a milestone for the survivors who have had to live through this trial.  To them we offer an unreserved apology and an assurance that we have heard and we believe the terrible story they have had to tell.”

Lifetime ban on 2 Chichester clergy imposed: The Church of England Newspaper, February 21, 2014 March 20, 2014

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Two Chichester clergymen jailed for child abuse have been given a life-time ban on exercising any functions on ordained ministry.

On 14 February 2014 the Rt. Rev. Martin Warner said that in light of the conclusion of the criminal cases against the Revs Gordon Rideout and Robert Coles and their subsequent incarceration, the ban had been imposed under Section 30 of the Clergy Discipline Measure.

“A sentence of prohibition for life is the most severe sanction that can be imposed under the Clergy Discipline Measure and is a further indication of the gravity of the offences committed,” the bishop said.

“Whilst neither of the clergy in question has been permitted to function as clergy in the Diocese of Chichester since their respective arrests, the imposition of these sentences now concludes the Church’s disciplinary processes. I hope this announcement is of some comfort to the survivors of abuse, both within the Diocese of Chichester and more widely.”

In February 2013 Coles (72) was jailed for eight years Brighton Crown Court after he pled guilty on 14 Dec 2012 to 11 counts of child abuse committed between 1978 to 1984 in West Sussex, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and the Isle of Wight.

On 20 May 2013 the jury found Rideout (74) guilty of 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. He was sentenced to ten years imprisonment.

Last month Rideout was taken from prison to a local hospital. He has since been returned to jail, but has petitioned the Ministry of Justice for an early release on compassionate grounds.

A spokesman for the ministry declined to speak to Rideout’s petition, but stated compassionate release could be granted if the prisoner had a terminal illness or was bedridden or otherwise permanently incapacitated and would prove to be no harm to society.

 

No charges for Bishop Ball: The Church of England Newspaper, February 7, 2014 February 17, 2014

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The former Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt. Rev. Peter Ball, who was arrested in November 2012 on suspicion of child abuse, has not been charged following an 18 month investigation by detectives from Sussex Police.

On 28 Jan 2014, the Crown Prosecution Service said it was still considering the case against Bishop Ball, who was arrested in his Somerset home in November 2012 as part of Operation Dunhill. The bishop was reported to have been taken ill following his arrest.

Sussex Police had initiated an investigation after the Church of England turned over the results of its internal review of Bishop Ball.

In 1993 Bishop Ball resigned after he was cautioned by the police for having committed an act of gross indecency against a teenager. The now 81 year old bishop was licenced to officiate at church services following his resignation, but has not had the licence renewed since 2010.

In 2012 a Sussex Police spokesman it had “received from Lambeth Palace two reports from a Church safeguarding consultant, which contain reviews of Church safeguarding files relating to historic issues in the Chichester Diocese. We have also received the files themselves.

“The reports and files relate to matters more than 20 years ago and we will review the contents in order to establish whether any police investigation of possible criminal offences would be merited.”

The late Bishop of Chichester, the Rt. Rev. Eric Kemp, was skeptical of the veracity of the charges brought against Bishop Ball. In his 2006 memoirs, Shy But Not Retiring, Bishop Kemp stated: “Although it was not realized at the time, the circumstances which led to his early resignation were the work of mischief makers.”

Chichester priest arrested for abuse: The Church of England Newspaper, February 7, 2014 February 17, 2014

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A retired Diocese of Chichester priest has been charged by police with a host of sex crimes dating back almost 40 years.

On 28 Jan 2014, the Sussex Police released a statement saying the Rev. Vickery House (68) had been charged with 8 counts of sexual assault “on the authority of the Crown Prosecution Service following an investigation by detectives from Sussex Police over the past 18 months”.

Mr. House of Handcross, West Sussex was arrested in November 2012 and has been on bail pending the outcome of the investigation.  He faces two charges of molesting a 15 year old boy in Devon between 1970 and 1971, two charges relating to a man in East Sussex between 1976 and 1978, and 1983 and 1985, one charge relating to a man in East Sussex between 1978 and 1980, one charge relating to a man in East Sussex between 1981 and 1984, one charge relating to a man in East Sussex between 1984 and 1986 and one charge relating to a man in East Sussex between 1984 and 1986.

The Diocese of Chichester released a statement last week saying it was “aware that a retired priest, previously arrested as part of Operation Dunhill in November 2012, has been charged today with eight counts of indecent assault.”

“As this case is under investigation no further comment will be made. The Diocese of Chichester has been assisting Sussex Police with the inquiries and continues to do so,” it reported.

Mr. House has been granted bail and is charged to appear before the Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 27 Feb 2014.

Eastbourne priest arrested on child abuse charges: The Church of England Newspaper, January 17, 2014 January 27, 2014

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A priest of the Diocese of Chichester was arrested by police last month on suspicion of having sexually abused a 12 year old boy in 1988. On 3 Dec 2013 the 56 year old man, identified as the Rev. Jonathan Graves by the BBC ,was arrested at his home in Eastbourne by Sussex Police and held on “suspicion of acts of indecency, indecent assault and cruelty against a boy known to him”.

Mr. Graves, who currently does not have permission to officiate in the diocese, was released on bail and ordered to appear before a magistrate in April.

The allegations of abuse were referred to detectives following the 2011 review of diocesan records conducted by Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss. Sussex Police stated the Diocese of Chichester were “co-operating fully” with the investigations, and further noted there were “currently no allegations of recent or current offending.”

Peer’s objections to central heating overruled by church court: The Church of England Newspaper, November 22, 2013 November 25, 2013

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The Consistory Court of the Diocese of Chichester has overruled objections to the installation of a heating system for St. Philip’s Church in Burwash, holding the objections made by a nonegarian peer, while  no doubt well intentioned, had “served in this instance only to obfuscate and delay the carrying out of the now long-overdue process of renewing the heating system”.

In Re Burwash Weald St. Philip [2013] Chichester Const Ct, Chancellor Mark Hill QC, noted Lady Margaret Baldwin, a prominent member of the congregation, had made formal objections to the installation of a natural gas boiler and radiators to heat the church.

The chancellor wrote he had had “some difficulty in comprehending the nature of the objection advanced by Lady Baldwin,” which had been made in a “good number” of letters written in “dense text in a small font.”

“Their content strays considerably from relevant material – they are at times contradictory and at others repetitive.

“Lady Baldwin expresses herself to be animated by ‘habitual concern for the congregation’ – a worthy objective, but an intrusive and debilitating one if the concern is misplaced or rooted in a flawed understanding of the proposals.”

Chancellor Hill said the objections by Lady Baldwin, who was well into her 90’s, centered round fears the installation of central heating would damage the organ, which had been accidentally damaged during renovations in 1962.

The parochial council had engaged an “eminently qualified”  architect to oversee the project had had raised the £51,000 necessary to undertake the project through a public appeal and a loan facilitated by the Diocesan Board of Finance.

He added: “As a dispassionate observer, I am saddened that Lady Baldwin’s ‘habitual concern for the congregation’ seems to have served in this instance only to obfuscate and delay the carrying out of the now long-overdue process of renewing the heating system.

“It has led to further faculty fees and may have increased the overall cost for the parish. That is much to be regretted,” the judge ruled in granting the faculty.

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

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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.

Prison for Sussex priest convicted of abuse: The Church of England Newspaper, May 19, 2013 p 6. May 22, 2013

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A retired Sussex clergyman has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment by the Hove Crown Court for sexually abusing two teenage boys.

The Rev. Keith Wilkie Denford (78) will also undergo two years supervision and he added added to the registry of sex offenders. His co-defendant church organist Michael Mytton (69) was given a suspended nine-month jail term by Judge Paul Tain for indecently assaulting a third boy.

“There can be no greater breach of trust than a man playing the role of a man of God, and as the spiritual adviser to the family concerned, to take advantage of that position to abuse small children,” Judge Tain told Mr. Denford at his sentencing.

In a 9 May 2013 statement released after the sentence was handed down the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, said the “sentencing is an indication of the seriousness of their crimes and the importance of bringing their actions to light and to justice.”

“We would like to place on record our thanks to the police for the way in which they conducted this investigation and supported survivors and their families in the pursuit of truth.

He noted the crimes “were not reported to the Diocese of Chichester prior to 2011. Notification of the serious allegations against these two men we had formerly trusted was the result of our working relationship with Sussex Police and the local authority.”

The Bishop added that he hoped ” today will mark a milestone for the survivors who have had to live through this trial.  To them we offer an unreserved apology and an assurance that we have heard and we believe the terrible story they have had to tell.”

Sussex clergyman found guilty of child abuse: The Church of England Newspaper, April 21, 2013 p 6. April 22, 2013

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A Sussex clergyman has been found guilty of sexually abusing two boys. On 5 April 2013 the Rev. Keith Wilkie Denford, (78) and his codefendant, church organist Michael Mytton (69), were found guilty following a three-week trial at Hove Crown Court of molesting boys under the age of 16.

While serving as vicar of St John the Evangelist Church in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, Mr. Denford committed and indecent assaults on two boys between June 1987 and January 1990.    He was found not guilty of a third charge of indecent assault against the first boy. Mr. Mytton was convicted of three counts of indecently assaulting a boy under 16 in the Newick area between 1990 and 1994. He was found not guilty of one count of aiding and abetting Mr. Denford.

After the verdict was handed the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, stated: “I note the verdict reached by the Court today and we will now move swiftly to implement our own disciplinary procedures following this verdict in the case of Mr Denford.

“The Diocese fully acknowledges the suffering caused both to survivors of abuse and their families. We deeply regret the betrayal of trust in the context of public pastoral ministry and we extend our prayers and support to those caught up in the events highlighted by this case.

“The Diocese has learned many lessons from past cases and continues to do so. Our safeguarding procedures have been revised and updated and I am committed to ensuring that every person is safe in our church communities.”

The case has been adjourned for sentencing to 2 May 2013 and the defendants remain on bail meanwhile.

Call to exhume the supposed grave of Harold II: The Church of England Newspaper, February 15, 2013. February 18, 2013

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Further evidence must be presented that an unmarked grave at Holy Trinity Church in Bosham is the resting place of King Harold II before the body may be exhumed, the Diocese of Chichester reports.

The last Saxon King of England, Harold was killed at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and is believed to have been buried at his home church in Bosham.  In 1954 a stone sarcophagus was unearthed in the church and found to contain the skeleton of a headless man.

In 2003 the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Chichester denied a faculty to exhume the body. Chancellor Mark Hill said he was “far from satisfied” a case had been made that the remains were those of King Harold.

“It is a matter of conjecture whether any human remains will be found in the coffin; such remains as may be found are highly unlikely to be those of Harold since the vast preponderance of academic opinion points to him having been buried at Waltham Abbey; any DNA testing is futile [because of the improbability of finding proven present-day descendents whose own DNA could be compared]; and the margin of error in carbon dating testing can, at best, only produce an inconclusive result.”

“The prospect of obtaining a meaningful result is so remote in this instance that the presumption against disturbance is not displaced. The evidence led by the petitioners fails to come near to the standard required … the petition therefore fails,” Chancellor Hill ruled.

The Rev. Martin Lane, vicar of Holy Trinity said he was not surprised the debate over Harold’s grave has resurfaced.  “It remains a fascinating story and it is no wonder that people are captivated by the legend of Canute’s daughter’s grave and the Harold manor. However, these things have to be looked at properly and any new proposal would need to form part of our ongoing review of our church building and how it meets mission today.”

The Ven. Roger Combes,  Archdeacon of Horsham added that the diocese was “aware that there is renewed interest into two grave sites in the nave, at Bosham church.  We await with interest to see if a stronger case can be made for a new application for a faculty which will be needed if any new claims are to be investigated.”

Chichester priest committed for trial on abuse charges: The Church of England Newspaper, December 29, 2012 January 4, 2013

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A retired Sussex clergyman appeared before the Chichester Crown Court last week and has been committed for trial for allegedly sexually abusing a teenage boy.

The Rev. Robert Coles (71) pled not guilty to sexually abusing a boy between 1982 and 1984, when the child was 15 to 16 years of age.  Mr. Coles was arrested in March and charged in August with several counts of sexual abuse committed between the 1970s and 1990s.  The Crown Prosecution Service said it will decide next month whether to bring further charges of indecent assault against the defendants.  Trial has been set for 10 June 2013.

On 17 Dec 2012, the Diocese of Chichester released a statement confirming Mr. Coles, “a priest formerly licensed in the diocese, has been committed for trial to face charges relating to allegations of sexual abuse in the 70s and 80s.”

“Today’s hearing is the latest development in a 16 month police investigation in which the Diocese of Chichester has been cooperating with Sussex Police. A diocesan spokesperson said: “Our prayers are for anyone affected by today’s hearing. We are unable to comment further at this stage whilst we allow the judicial system to take its course.”

“Our cooperation with Sussex police in this investigation is in line with our ongoing commitment to do all that is necessary to bring any allegations of abuse to the attention of the public authorities, and to ensure that the Diocese of Chichester is a safe place for all,” the diocesan statement said.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Chichester parish art auctioned for £1 million January 3, 2013

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Four scenes from the Passion of Christ, Niccolo di Pietro Gerini, circa 1390

A set of four 14th century Italian paintings belonging to a Chichester parish have been sold at auction at Sotheby’s for £1,105,250. On 5 Dec 2012 four tempera paintings on linen depicting scenes from the passion narrative were sold by St Michael and All Angels, Withyham, East Sussex after a faculty to sell the art was given by the Diocese of Chichester.

Believed to be part of a 14th century narrative cycle, the Sotheby’s catalog states the paintings are datable on stylistic grounds to circa 1390 and are “generally attributed” to Niccolò di Pietro Gerini. They depict Christ washing the Feet of the Disciples, The Betrayal of Christ (or The Kiss of Judas), The Mocking of Christ and The Flagellation.

In 1849 Edward John Ottley presented the set to the parish. Brought from Italy in 1791 by his uncle William Young Ottley, R.A, (1771-1836) the paintings had hung the church until 1990, when they were taken to the Courtauld Institute for cleaning.  After the paintings were identified, they were deemed too valuable to be hung in an unprotected church and were transferred on loan to Leeds Castle in 1997.

Permission to sell the paintings was granted by the Chancellor of Chichester Diocese, Mark Hill QC, who held they had no integral part in the history of Withyham Church or its devotional life; that they had been absent from the church for over 20 years and were unlikely ever to return; and that their potential value could yield much needed income for the church which the donor, Edward John Ottley, intended to benefit by his gift.

The Rev. Adrian Leak, Priest in Charge of Withyham noted the donor, “Edward John Ottley will rejoice that once again Withyham Church will benefit from his gift.”

Proceeds from the sale will be placed in trust for the parish to maintain the church and churchyard. Full-sized replicas of the paintings have been hung in the place where the originals were displayed for over 150 years.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Retired Bishop of Gloucester arrested for child abuse: Anglican Ink, November 13, 2012 November 13, 2012

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Peter Ball

The former Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt. Rev. Peter Ball has been arrested for child abuse.

On 14 Nov 2012 detectives from the Sussex Police serious crimes unit arrested the retired bishop at his home Manor Lodge in the Somerset village of Aller – a “grace and favour” property owned by the Duchy of Cornwall – and charged him with eight counts of abuse on boys aged 12 to their early 20’s committed approximately 25 years ago while Bishop Ball served as Bishop of Lewes in the Diocese of Chichester.

In 1993 Bishop Ball resigned after he was cautioned by the police for having committed an act of gross indecency against a teenager. The now 80 year old bishop was licensed to officiate at church services following his resignation, but has not had the license renewed since 2010.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Chichester priest arrested for assault: The Church of England Newspaper, September 2, 2012, p 5. September 2, 2012

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A retired Chichester clergyman has been arrested at his home in Eastbourne on suspicion of sexual assault.  On 16 August 2012 the Rev. Robert Coles (71) was charged with 29 counts of sexual abuse committed against three boys between 1978 and 1984 in West Sussex, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and the Isle of Wight.

On 6 March 2012, detectives from the Sussex police child protection team arrested Mr. Coles following a six-month investigation. He was released on conditional bail, but charged last week following further inquiries.

The investigation followed the release of a report prepared last year by Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss into the Diocese of Chichester’s child protection practices.  A criminal complaint was lodged against Mr. Coles and investigated by police in 1997, but there was insufficient evidence to support criminal proceedings.

A police spokesman said: “The charges, authorized by the South East Complex Case Unit of the Crown Prosecution Service, follow a nine month enquiry by Sussex Police detectives into these allegations.

“None of the charges relate to any allegations of recent or current offending and police emphasise that there is nothing to suggest that any children are currently at risk.”

The Diocese of Chichester released a statement in March saying it was aware of the arrest and was “co-operating fully with the police and other statutory agencies in all their activities, including this investigation.”

The Bishop of Horsham, the Rt. Rev. Mark Sowerby stated: “We are absolutely committed to making sure that our churches are safe communities for children and vulnerable adults and to giving the highest priority to statutory safeguarding practice and Church of England policies on safeguarding. We owe this to those who have suffered abuse and most especially to those who have suffered abuse at the hands of people exercising a ministry in the name of the Church.”

“We are resolved to do whatever is necessary to prevent the abuse of children and vulnerable adults and to ensure that no one fails victims of abuse by failing to report information or knowledge of wrongdoing to the police.”

Mr. Coles is set to appear at Chichester Magistrates’ Court on 5 September.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Former Bishop of Gloucester under police investigation: The Church of England Newspaper, June 10, 2012 p 2. June 11, 2012

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Sussex Police have begun an investigation of the former Bishop of Gloucester after the Church of England turned over the results of its internal review of the Rt. Rev. Peter Ball.

In 1993 Bishop Ball resigned after he was cautioned by the police for having committed an act of gross indecency against a teenager. The now 80 year old bishop was licenced to officiate at church services following his resignation, but has not had the licence renewed since 2010.

A Church House spokesman told the BBC that “at our instigation a former police officer, now a safeguarding adviser, has undertaken a review of all files relating to a retired bishop.”

“On the basis of the findings, this review has now been forwarded to Sussex Police.”

The spokesman stated that as the matter was now in police hands, the church would not be commenting further. Spokesmen for the Archbishop of Canterbury also declined to respond to queries on the investigation of Bishop Ball from The Church of England Newspaper.

A police spokesman said that over the past two weeks the Sussex Police had “received from Lambeth Palace two reports from a Church safeguarding consultant, which contain reviews of Church safeguarding files relating to historic issues in the Chichester Diocese. We have also received the files themselves.

“The reports and files relate to matters more than 20 years ago and we will review the contents in order to establish whether any police investigation of possible criminal offences would be merited.”

“This review is likely to take several weeks. We are not prepared to expand on this statement at this time,” the police spokesman said.

Educated at Lancing College and Queen’s College, Cambridge, Bishop Ball was ordained in 1956 and served his curacy in Rottingdean. After further study at Kelham Theological College, Bishop Ball with his twin brother, Michael — who later served as Suffragan Bishop of Jarrow and Bishop of Truro — formed the Community of the Glorious Ascension in Staffordshire. Bishop Ball served as prior of the community until his appointment as Suffragan Bishop of Lewes. In 1992 he was translated to Gloucester, but resigned within the year.

The late Bishop of Chichester, the Rt. Rev. Eric Kemp, was skeptical of the veracity of the charges brought against Bishop Ball. In his 2006 memoirs, Shy But Not Retiring, Bishop Kemp stated: “Although it was not realized at the time, the circumstances which led to his early resignation were the work of mischief makers.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Chichester clergy abuse arrest: The Church of England Newspaper, May 20, 2012 p 6. May 28, 2012

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A retired priest and an organist have been charged with having abused young boys over twenty years ago in West Sussex. The Rev. Keith Wilkie Denford (77) and Mr. Michael Mytton (68) had been arrested last November by detectives from the child protection unit of the Sussex Police and appeared answered bail at the Crawley police station on 8 May 2012.

A spokesman for Sussex Police stated: “Child protection detectives in West Sussex have charged two men with sexual offences allegedly committed between 22 and 25 years ago.

“Denford has been charged with three indecent assaults on a boy then under 16, two in or near Shoreham, and one in or near Cuckfield on dates between June 1987 and January 1990, and has also been charged with one indecent assault on another boy then aged under 16 in or near Cuckfield on dates between January 1987 and December 1990.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Chichester said both men had been suspended “from all duties immediately upon receiving advice from the local safeguarding authorities.”

The diocese said it had been “cooperating with the police and other related public authorities throughout the investigation.”

Both men have been released on bail and will appear at Mid Sussex Magistrates’ Court, Haywards Heath, on 22 May 2012.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

New arrest in Chichester abuse cases: The Church of England Newspaper, April 29, 2012 p 6. May 4, 2012

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A retired clergyman under charge for having committed child abuse has been re-arrested by the Sussex Police after evidence was unearthed of additional offenses.

On 16 April 2012, Canon Gordon Rideout (73) was arrested by police on suspicion of having committed four sexual assaults in the late 1960s and early 1970s in Ifield, West Sussex, and Middle Wallop.

Last month Canon Rideout was arrested and accused of having committed nine sexual assaults against young people between 1965 and 1972.  He had been released on bail following his arrest on 6 March, and was due to answer his bail on 18 April.  A police spokesman stated Canon Rideout has been bailed on the new charges and must answer his bail on 20 June.

The investigation followed the release of a report prepared last year by Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss into the Diocese of Chichester’s child protection practices.

According to the police, the allegations of abuse were first raised against Canon Rideout in 1972, but no charges were filed.  A second allegation was made to police in 2001 and an arrest was made at that time, but the charges were subsequently dropped due to insufficient evidence.

Last month the Diocese of Chichester released a statement saying it was aware of the arrests and was “co-operating fully with the police and other statutory agencies in all their activities, including this investigation.”

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