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Carlisle vicar sentenced to jail for abuse: The Church of England Newspaper, November 29, 2012 December 5, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
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A Carlisle vicar, the Rev. Ronald Johns, has been sentenced to four years imprisonment by the Carlisle Crown Court for child abuse.  On 27 Sept 2012 Johns pled guilty to two charges of indecent assault and four counts of gross indecency against one victim, two charges of gross indecency with a second victim, and two charges of gross indecency with a third.

A statement released by the Diocese of Carlisle on 19 Nov 2012 said that a “prison sentence can never be a matter of pleasure, nor can it put right wrongs that were done, but the sentence given to Ron Johns today is just and fair and reflects the gravity of his offences.”

“We know that those abused are so manipulated by the abuser that they are the ones who end up feeling guilty, while the abuser attempts to excuse himself.  The Diocese of Carlisle therefore hopes that Ron John’s victims will feel that this sentence lays clear the truth:  Ron Johns did wicked things, which were not their fault or responsibility.”

Bishop James Newcome added that “we unreservedly condemn this and any abuse.  Jesus made it clear that those who are most vulnerable should be most precious, and hence safest with the Church.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.  We apologize again to them for failing to take the action we should have done when Ron John’s crimes first came to light.”

In his summing up, Judge Rabinder Singh said he was incarcerating Mr. Johns (75) as a pre-sentence evaluation found him to be a danger to society and that his behavior was manipulative and predatory.

On 15 Oct 2012 Bishop Newcome apologized for the way his predecessor, Bishop Ian Harland, dealt with Mr. Johns after allegations of abuse were raised. After Johns admitted the charges were true, Bishop Harland did not report the incidents to the police but transferred him from his post as canon at Carlisle Cathedral to serve as vicar of Caldbeck and Castle Sowerby with Sebergham in 1994. No charges were pressed by the victims at that time, and the diocese did not inform the police of the accusations or Mr. John’s confession.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

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