Abuse trial begins for Chichester cleric

The trial of a former Diocese of Chichester clergyman for sexually assaulting young men and boys began last week at the Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey, in London. On 12 Oct 2015 the Rev. Vickery House (69) the former vicar of St Bartholomew’s Church in Brighton, pled not guilty eight charges of indecent assault. 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”. 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, and six charges relating to young men in East Sussex between 1978 and 1985. On the first day of trial, House admitted to having had sexual contact with a boy in Devon but claimed it as consensual. The victim testified he had filed a complaint against House in 2001, but no action appeared to have been taken. House was arrested in 2012 along with former bishop Peter Ball as part of Operation Dunhill after the Church of England passed its safeguarding files to the East Sussex police for review. The trial continues and is expected to take up to three weeks.


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