Prison for Sussex priest convicted of abuse: The Church of England Newspaper, May 19, 2013 p 6. May 22, 2013Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Diocese of Chichester, Wilkie Denford
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.”