Mere Anglicanism

Six & half years sentence for abuser priest

A retired Diocese of Chichester clergyman, Vickery House, has been sentenced to six and half years imprisonment following his conviction last week on five counts of indecent assault

A retired Diocese of Chichester clergyman, Vickery House of Handcross, West Sussex, has been sentenced to six and half years imprisonment following his conviction last week on five counts of indecent assault. At his sentencing on 29 Oct 2015 Judge Christine Henson QC of the Central Criminal Court told House (69): “You should have epitomised all that was good, honest and moral about society. Instead that was the opposite of how you treated your victims.” House’s years of parish ministry had now been “tainted by the bad things you have done” the judge said. Three of his victims were young men participating in a program organized by the Church of England to raise up young men for the ministry called “Give a Year For Christ.” He was also found to have molested a 14 year old boy while serving as a curate in Devon. He denied the assault on the boy, but conceded his actions with the young men were “mistaken sexual advances”. Following his conviction on 27 Oct 2015, the Diocese of Chichester released a statement saying: The conviction today of Mr House marks an important step in the ongoing process of making sure those who have used positions of power to abuse others, are held accountable. There is no place in the Church for the abuse of others, or for failing to protect those who are vulnerable to abuse. The Diocese of Chichester welcomes the exercise of justice in the telling of truth and conviction of guilt. We are profoundly sorry for the abuse perpetrated by Mr House and remain committed to doing everything possible to ensure the well-being of vulnerable people, young and old, who rightly look to us for respect, care, and nurture in the Christian faith. Abuse is a terrible crime and a grievous breach of trust, and we hope that Mr House’s victims, who have shown great courage in coming forward to report this matter, can feel that justice has been done in this case.” The diocesan statement said the investigation of House began in 2012 “when staff from the Church of England and Diocesan safeguarding teams worked together, resulting in a report being sent to Sussex Police by an independent safeguarding consultant commissioned by the Church of England. Mr House was arrested in November 2012, and his permission to officiate in the Diocese of Chichester was immediately removed. Diocesan staff, who were working closely with Sussex Police on this case at the time, have continued to do so throughout this lengthy investigation. We wish to put on record our admiration and gratitude for the professionalism of Sussex Police in this matter, and their determination to ensure that abusers are brought to justice.”

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