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

Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
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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

Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
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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.